The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said that it doesn’t take ad-hoc staff deployed for the elections for granted.
Chairman of the Commission, Mahmoud Yakubu, said this during a forum with stakeholders on Saturday, while responding to criticisms over the treatment of corps members.
According to him, elections would not be conducted successfully without the help of the ad-hoc staff.
The Commission had come under major criticism on Saturday when images showing the corps members in distressing conditions – cramped together, sleeping out in the open and more, along with harrowing posts of negligence, surfaced online.
The criticism grew, spurning thousands of tweets and a global trend on microblogging platform, Twitter.
The INEC boss, however, explained that the centres do not belong to the Commission and are only utilised once every four years.
According to him, a lot has been done to improve the conditions of the centres and much more would be done to keep make the staff comfortable.
He said, “We have done a lot to improve the super racks. Remember these are not facilities owned by INEC, they are public facilities used by INEC once every four years for a general election or as the need arises.
“But we have taken steps. We have procured generators for each of the super racks because that is the place where the youth corpers revise the training manuals before they are deployed to the polling units. They also see the opportunity to recharge the smart card readers before deployment.
“In some places, we have an understanding with the NYSC to ensure that mattresses are made available. We have also gone out of our way to provide mats, rubber buckets, water tanks, toiletries, to make the condition comfortable for the ad-hoc staff that we engage.
“Without these ad-hoc staff, INEC cannot successfully conduct elections anywhere in Nigeria and we don’t take that for granted. We will continue to do what we can to provide for their comfort”.