No fewer than 150 ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, who worked in Anambra State during the 2023 general elections, have protested the non-payment of their allowances.
The angry protesters thronged the INEC headquarters in Awka with placards, on Tuesday, while calling for the immediate release of their allowances.
Some of the placards read, ‘Pay us our money, ‘INEC you cannot eat our money, ‘Labourers are worth their wages’, among several others
While chanting derogatory songs against INEC, the protesters blocked the gate to the commission, refusing most vehicles entry and exit.
One of the protesters, who spoke to journalists on the condition of anonymity for fear of being witch hunt said, “We were only paid N3, 000 as feeding allowance on the day of the elections while the remnant of N14, 000 is being owed us for each of the two elections (presidential and national assembly, and state house of assembly election).
“They are about to conclude the issue of payment, yet we have not been paid. They told us that the problem was with the banks we are using. They told us to submit other bank accounts, which we did, but yet they have still not paid us.
“We are over 300 that have not received our allowances. All we are asking is that INEC pays us the money they agreed to pay us. It is only in Nigeria that people work and do not get paid.
“We all know the risk associated with elections in this part of the country. Yet, we defied the odds and risked our lives to ensure that democracy is sustained and the only way INEC wants to pay us back is by owing us.”
The protesters, therefore, called on the appropriate authorities to look into the matter and ensure that they get their money.