CORPS MEMBERS ALLEGE POOR TREATMENT
MEMBERS of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who supervised yesterday's governorship rerun in Delta State have accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of treating them badly during the exercise.
They equally flayed the two bodies - NYSC and INEC - for forcing the responsibility of manning the polling units on all corps members in the state, many of whom were scared to do so.
A corps member, who spoke under anonymity at Otujeremi in Ughelli South Local Council, said: 'We started getting inklings of troubles to come on Wednesday when we reported at INEC office and buses that were bought by Emmanuel Uduaghan were provided for our transportation.
'When youths in the community saw the buses, they threatened to burn them, claiming that the corps members could favour Uduaghan, if they rode in his buses. That threat marked the end of the transportation arrangement.'
She continued: 'Later in the evening, we were taught the things that we needed to know, like mounting cubicles for balloting and educating illiterate voters on voting procedures. But when the exercise ended, we could not leave because people of the community surrounded the entire INEC office.'
The result, she explained, was that they were made to be 'stranded.'
'To worsen the situation, we ate late on Wednesday. We were lined up to receive food, which was rice, meat and warm sachet water,' she said.
However, later in the day when the corps members found out that no place had been prepared for them to sleep, some them tried leaving for a nearby lodge, but they were ransacked by men in the community, who stripped them of their possessions in a bid to confirm that they did not leave with ballot boxes.
According to one of the corps members: 'It was not as if the lodge could fully accommodate us. It has only two rooms, and there are 144 corps members who needed to sleep.'
Another corps member criticised INEC and NYSC for playing a fast one on them, saying: 'All of us have been here since morning. The condition here is not conducive one bit. They told us during the training that accommodation would be provided for us. Then at a time when they knew that we no longer had a choice, they said that we would sleep here at the INEC office, because of our safety. Is INEC office a police station? Is this the safest or most comfortable place in Delta State?'