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INEC Ad-Hoc Staff Regret Participating in Elections after Delayed Payments


Since then, Adegbola who performed her election duty at Ogbomoso South local government area in Oyo state has not received any other payment from INEC.


A day after the presidential and national assembly elections, Adejumoke Adegbola, an ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, received the sum of N3,000 from the commission.  The one-time payment was for fare. 

Since then, Adegbola who performed her election duty at Ogbomoso South local government area in Oyo state has not received any other payment from INEC.

In all, she was entitled to N14,000 for the presidential and national elections: N7,000 honorarium; N3,000 training allowance; N3,000 fare; and N1, 000 feeding allowance. 

Adegbola told Development News Nigeria that INEC had only promised to pay all her allowances after the gubernatorial and state house of assembly elections. 

She was not the only affected ad-hoc staff as thousands of them have been complaining of not being paid after the presidential elections, raising fears that some of them might not want to participate in the gubernatorial elections or resort to collecting bribes from desperate politicians to manipulate the elections. 

“The welfare of these corps members is of utmost importance as they are exposed to compromise and harsh living conditions,” said Busayo Morakinyo, the director of Creative Ideation Hub. 

INEC Ad-hoc staff sleep in open space ahead of election

INEC relies heavily on ad-hoc staff to elections in its over 170,000 polling units. Many of the ad-hoc staff are students and NYSC members.

 But despite their crucial role during elections, their meager stipends are delayed and, in some cases, not paid at all. 

One of the ad-hoc staff who spoke to Development News Nigeria on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press said they had been frustrated by the failure of INEC to pay them after the presidential elections.

“They are calling some of us, I don’t understand. Are they supposed to be doing that? Are they supposed to call someone privately and be telling the person they will pay? Are they going to pay a few people and leave the rest?” he asked.

“They should come on the platform and tell us what we need to know and tell us our money will be paid on a particular date,” he added. 

To be fair, the delay in payment of ad-hoc staff has been a recurring issue in Nigeria’s elections but many observers said INEC should have prepared better for the welfare of ad-hoc staff considering the huge budget of the 2023 general elections. 

Moshood Isah, a media officer with Yiaga Africa, pointed out that INEC ad-hoc staff, especially corps members, are being mistreated and not paid their stipends on time.

Isah noted that such treatment could have impact on the willingness of the ad-hoc staff to participate in future elections, adding that politicians could capitalise on their poor welfare to try to bribe them to manipulate the elections.

Most of the ad-hoc staff interviewed by Development News Nigeria complained that they were  also exposed to hardship during the presidential elections as INEC did not make adequate arrangement to prioritise their welfare.

One of the ad-hoc staff who spoke on condition of anonymity said she had to work under the sun throughout the day without any canopy or enough tables to work with, adding that the poor welfare and delayed payment could discourage many of them from participating in future elections.

James Bamidele said he decided to join the ad-hoc staff due to the financial challenges he was facing but he was disappointed by INEC’s arrangement.

He said they were even promised power banks to enable them to charge their phones during the election, but that never happened.

Bamidele said the risks involved in being an ad-hoc staff are high, adding that they should be treated with respect and dignity. 

He stressed the need for ad-hoc staff to be compensated fairly and promptly to encourage more people to participate in future elections.

Adeleke Itunu, an ad-hoc, told Development News Nigeria that they had to leave the collation center at 1 am due to threats by thugs.

“If you need your life, just don’t apply for ad-hoc staff because no stipend is worth your life unless strong security measures are put in place, ” said Abiodun Daniel who worked as electoral officer during the presidential elections.

Checks by Development News Nigeria show that several ad-hoc workers have planned not to participate in the gubernatorial and house of assembly elections this Saturday. 

Many of them said the violence and harassment at some of the polling units during the presidential elections had forced them to reconsider their participation in the gubernatorial election. 

Festus Okoye, commissioner for Information and Voter Education in INEC declined to comment on the delayed payment of ad-hoc staff.  

“We have 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. We deployed over 760,000 ad-hoc staff, and each electoral officer in the 774 local government areas pay their allowances,” he said.