Some ad hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who were deployed in Idanre local government area of Ondo State for the governorship election slept at a primary school for lack of decent accommodation.
Polling officers (POs) and assistant polling officers were seen on mats when TheCable visited St. Patrick School, Odeja, one of the registration area centres in Idanre, on the eve of the election.
The officials who have been assigned to handle the conduct and supervision of the election in Idanre are expected to have moved to their different units before 8am.
TheCable and Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) found out that some event halls at Owena, where the INEC office of Idanre local government area is located, were converted to sleeping places for electoral officials who could not afford decent accommodation.
But those who had enough cash had to rent rooms at hotels did not pass the night under such condition.
An electoral official, who craved anonymity, explained the reason why his colleagues took the decision.
“Ever since I’ve been working for them (INEC), that’s how it has always been for those of us who do not have enough money but want to get to our polling units very early in the morning,” he said.
“We have to stay together and that’s why you see most people sleep in their RAC because that’s where the bus that will move their materials will take off from.”
Electoral officials are very crucial to the success of elections but their welfare has always been an issue of concern.
TheCable had reported how some INEC officials dumped electoral materials at Girls Model Secondary School, Ubiaja, Esan south-east local government area of Edo state, during last month’s election.
The aggrieved officials, who comprised of presiding officers and assistant presiding officers, had complained about poor treatment.
They said apart from not paying their allowances, no provision was made for them to convey the electoral materials to the INEC head office in Benin, the state capital.