The Lagos state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Olusegun Agbaje has given reasons for INEC’s delay in the deployment of voting materials, which led to the commencement voting in several places and the absence of INEC officials in some parts of the state. Speaking to journalists on the night of the general elections at the
The Lagos state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Olusegun Agbaje has given reasons for INEC’s delay in the deployment of voting materials, which led to the commencement voting in several places and the absence of INEC officials in some parts of the state.
Speaking to journalists on the night of the general elections at the opening of the collation Centre in the state, Mr Agbaje said some of the Corps members who were supposed to conduct the elections as Adhoc staff surprisingly withdrew from the exercise at the last moment.
Residents of Lagos had complained about the lateness of election materials to some polling units and the absence of INEC officials at a polling unit where there were eventually no elections.
According to him, some members of the National Youth Service Corps were withdrawn by their parents and guardians from participating in the conduct of the elections which they have been trained for. Due to the sudden withdrawals of some Corps members, the commission experienced shortage of staff and it became difficult for INEC to replace the Adhoc staff within a short time.
“Last night (Friday) some parents called their wards who are Ad Hoc staff from NYSC and told them that they should not participate in the elections. The NYSC officials at the local government levels tried to persuade them but they refused to go. So this one created a challenge that INEC could not make other arrangements in their polling units immediately”, Mr Agbaje said.
On the allegations that some of the INEC Adhoc were not paid, which led to the abandonment of their duty posts and elections materials, the REC denied the information. He also added that payment of Adhoc is within the jurisdiction of the Supervising Polling Officers to pay, and the commission had disbursed their payments earlier.
“That some Adhoc staff are not paid, this is not to my knowledge, because we have given cash to those who are going to them since yesterday but it is the decision of SPOs to pay the POs and other staff under them. If there is anyone that is not paid, maybe there is a disagreement between them that is not our niche.
Addressing the issues of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System and the INEC Results Viewing which have not been functioning, preventing Nigerians from seeing the results as promised by the INEC, Mr Agbaje explained the technicality around the machine. He stated that the commission has not been able to transmit results due to poor networks across the country. He added that the results have already been uploaded but the bad network has impeded Nigerians from viewing them.
“It is not compulsory for BVAS to upload at the point of elections, it is just like a handset, you can send messages here and it will not go, by the time you get to that gate it will go. We have advised many of our staff because the problem is not just in Lagos, it is across the nation, that when they get to their RAC they can upload.
“We have also asked the party agents to accompany the various officers and Adhoc staff to Registration units, where this will be uploaded”, he said.