Omos Oyinbode, Asaba
The adhoc staff that was engaged by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the 2015 general elections, yesterday, barricaded the gate of the commission in Asaba, calling for the payment of their allowances for the elections.
The protesters led by Mr. Francis Osamor, who addressed journalists at the gate of the INEC office, claimed that Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs) are entitled to N30, 000 accommodation allowances of each of the elections, alleging that some of their colleagues in other states were paid the accommodation allowances for the elections.
The over 60 aggrieved protesters told journalists that they were at the premises of the commission to register their displeasure over the nonchalant attitude of the commission, saying after a full month they were yet to be paid their entitlements.
They called for relevant government agencies and INEC Chairman, Prof. Atahiru Jega to prevail on Delta State Commissioner of the INEC, Elder Abasi Aniedi Ikiowak, to release their allowance and get them paid.
But Elder Ikiowak said the commission does not owe any adhoc staff allowances arising from the conduct of the March 28 and April 11 elections in the state. He said the only allowances already being processed in the office of the commission were for those categories of ad-hoc staff that were engaged for the rescheduled senatorial election in Delta Central Senatorial District in the state.
He said there was no element of truth that Supervising Presiding Officers (SPOs) and Presiding Officers (P0s) engaged for the conduct of the elections are entitled for accommodation allowances as claimed by them, saying over 270 SPOs engaged for the exercise had been paid all their entitlements to date.
He said the only category of ad hoc staff entitled for accommodation are the Collation Officers and Returning Officers who would definitely pass two to three nights in the areas of their primary assignments while waiting for the results from the units and wards