Anambra: NYSC vows not to use corps members as election officials in Idemili, Ogbaru
THE National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) in Anambra has insisted that corps members will not be posted for election duty in Idemili and Ogbaru areas of the state on March 9.
Mr Kehinde Aremu, State Coordinator of the corps disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Tuesday.
Brig.-Gen. Sulaiman Kazaure, D-G of the corps, had after the presidential election barred corps members from being used as election officials in volatile areas in order not to further endanger their lives.
NAN reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is billed to return to the field again to conduct the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly Elections across 27 out of the 36 states in the country.
The commission will also conduct the election in the six Area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
NAN also reports that there will be re-run election for Idemili North and Idemili South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives in 26 polling units in Obosi ward, Idemili North Council Area.
Aremu said the scheme had reviewed the events of the Feb.23 Presidential and National Assembly election and identified the areas as volatile with high threat possibility for poll officials.
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“It would be recalled that corps members were abducted and later freed in Ogbaru, while others sustained injuries when hoodlums invaded a collation centre in Obosi to cart away election materials including result sheet,’’ he said.
The coordinator expressed delight on the corps’ credibility in the country’s electoral process.
He explained that the history books of contributors to the growth of democracy would not be complete without the mention of corps members.
Aremu said every corps member in Anambra was home and safe adding that none was in the hospital.
According to him, the NYSC in the state will continue to protect the wellbeing of the corps members under its care.
“We are proud of the services they have rendered so far. As you can see, there is no record or report of corps members’ involvement in electoral malpractice.
“I want to specially commend our corps members who took part in the election here in Anambra.
“I am a member of the Inter-agency Consultative Forum for Election Security in Anambra, we have already envisaged that challenge in those areas and it came out as we expected.
“We have done our threat analysis, Idemili and Ogbaru are high-risk areas for those on election duty and the NYSC has resolved that corps members will not be posted to work in those two areas.
“This is as a result of the unsavoury experience our corps members had in these places and in line with the decision of the national headquarters that they would not be allowed to work in violence-prone areas.
“Let me use this opportunity to say that all our corps members who participated in Feb. 23 elections are safe and sound, none of them is in the hospital, we also want to ensure that their welfare remains our priority,” he said.
Also, Aremu said about 75 per cent of NYSC ad-hoc staff had been paid their honorarium by the INEC, adding that efforts were on to ensure others were paid.
He, however, blamed the delay on likely incorrect information provided by some of the corps members, noting that the process of normalizing the errors was on.