By Anthony Ogbonna

The chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has promised automatic employment to members of the National Youth Service Corp, NYSC, who “do exceptionally well during elections” as INEC ad hoc staff.

INEC
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

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Professor Yakubu made the promise on Wednesday during the commission’s daily briefing in Abuja.

He also said that the commission values NYSC members very highly and will never joke with their welfare.

NYSC
File: NYSC members

He was reacting to questions posed at him concerning the welfare of corps members who would work as INEC ad-hoc staff this Saturday.

Recall that INEC had, last Saturday, postponed the presidential and parliamentary elections in the country to this coming Saturday, 23rd of February, 2019.

INEC had cited, among others, technical issues and the cause for the postponement.

Meanwhile, just as condemnations trailed INEC’s postponement of the election, the media equally became awash with pictures of NYSC members who were supposed to be INEC ad-hoc staff sleeping on the floor and some, in tricycles on the eve of the postponed election.

There was even greater condemnation of INEC for subjecting the corps members to such experience.

But INEC had since denied neglecting members of the scheme whom it engages as ad-hoc staff.

Reacting, however, on the commission’s plans for the corps members, Professor Yakubu said he has met with the NYSC DG to see how mattresses used by the corps members during camping could be taken to the corps members at the various polling centers where they would man the elections.

He, therefore, promised that, as a way of rewarding those corps members that would perform exceptionally well on Election Day, that the commission would offer them automatic employment.

According to him, “The youth corps members are among the most educated, most reliable, most patriotic, and most readily available ad-hoc staff we have… so we don’t joke with the wellbeing of corps members.”

“Arising from my interaction with DG NYSC yesterday, they are looking at how they can mobilise mattresses, used by the youth corps members in camp to places where the youth corps members are going to stay the night so that the layover before we open the polling units on Saturday can be more comfortable for them.

“I am waiting for the DG NYSC to submit the details to the commission, but I want to assure you that anything that the commission can do to make the corps members comfortable, and all other staff, including their welfare and security, we will do.”

“Those who do exceptionally well during elections are accorded automatic employment by the commission. We would continue to improve on the welfare of corps members during elections and do whatever we can to protect them in the course of election duty.”

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