The Ondo State Governor-elect Rotimi Akeredolu, on Wednesday, called on authorities of the Nigerian Police to hasten the payment of the security operatives who participated in the last Saturday governorship election in the state.
Akeredolu, who commended the security operatives for their service towards ensuring the growth of democracy and peaceful conduct of the election, lamented that security operatives in the last Saturday election had been coming to his house to demand for money from him.
He noted that most of the men were stranded and complaining the non payment of their allowances urging the police authorities to look into their case since they were deployed for the election last week.
“They have been coming to my house to beg for money telling me that they were not paid their allowances: saying they are stranded.
“How can you deploy your officers for such assignment without paying them their money? I am saying this so that the DIG can take care of the issue,” urging the security bosses and Force Headquarters to cater for their personnel.
It will be recalled that a contingent of the security men protested the non-payment of their allowances in the state on Monday, causing traffic gridlock and logjam in Ondo West council area of the state
Similarly, one of the INEC accredited observers during the election, CLEEN Foundation, also lamented the poor working conditions of the security agencies deployed for the election, urging the Federal Government to improve their welfare for better performance.
The Senior Programme Officer of CLEEN Foundation, Mrs Chigozirim Okoro, who stated this during the public presentation of the preliminary report on the conduct of security agencies in the election attributed the high level of indiscipline of security personnel in the election to poor welfare.
Okoro lamented a few cases of professional misconduct such as collection of “brown envelope” from party agents and chieftains, drunkenness and inappropriate dressing by the security operatives.
She said “The welfare question again was very prominent as many security agents reportedly complained about their deployment without attention to their feeding and related allowances. Many of them resorted to begging for money to eat.
“Poor response to some cases, particularly vote buying by party agents on the day of the election,”
She however commended INEC for high level of professionalism asserting that “the electoral processes and outcomes would appear to enjoy broad acceptability nationally and internationally.”
The CLEEN officer urged for the need to pay more attention to the welfare of security personnel and more periodical training on the theory and practice of election security.
“All security agents deployed for election duties should be made to sign an oath of allegiance to some ethical codes of conduct, the violation of which would attract severe penalty,” she said.
Election Observers have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to extend his anti corruption campaign to the Nation’s electoral system in other to eradicates fraud in our electoral process in Nigeria.
The Coordinator of INEC Accredited Observers, in the last Saturday governorship election, Mr Sunny Elekwa stated this on Wednesday, while accessing the conduct of the election.
According to him, they observed that a certain political party, APC employed financial inducement to buy people’s votes and conscience during the election describing it as an advanced corruption.
Elekwa said this could jeopardize the election processes stressing that the attitude must be discouraged if our democracy would move forward.
He noted that there was over voting in some areas during where the numbers of votes cast were more than the number of accredited persons.
The coordinator INEC accredited observers also lamented the indiscriminate use of INEC incident forms by the electoral officers during the election.
He said “We also used this medium to remind INEC that they are not party partisans, they are independent body and should remain independent, stand strong on their election results verdicts.
“We thank the people of Ondo state for coming out en-mass in this election to vote for the candidate of their choice. We also urged INEC to improve its efficiency especially the malfunction of card readers”.