Hundreds of adhoc staff engaged for the 2023 General Elections in Anambra State by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on Tuesday protested non-payment of their allowances.
The protesters, who thronged the INEC Headquarters in Awka with placards bearing various inscriptions, blocked entrance or exit of the office, insisting they would not vacate until they their demands were met.
The protest crippled activities at the INEC office, as staff of the Commission were prevented from entering the premises.
Some of the protesters who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity claimed they were only paid N3000 as feeding allowance while the remnant of N14,000 was still being owed them for each of the Presidential and State House of Assembly Elections.
They accused the electoral umpire of planning not to pay them, saying the body was already concluding issue of payments.
One of them said, “They told us that the problem was with Access Bank and Zenith Bank and we were told to submit other bank accounts which we did. Yet they still refuse to pay us.
“We understand that they are about rounding up the payment of workers during the 2023 general elections, meaning that they do not have the plans to pay us.
“We are over 300 that have not received our allowances while they have paid some. It’s more than two months after the elections, they have not deemed it proper to communicate us on what the issue is.
“All we are asking is that INEC pays us the money they agreed to pay. It is only in Nigeria that people work and do not get paid.
“We all know the risk associated with conducting 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.
“This is quite unfair and we want to call on the appropriate authorities to look into this matter and ensure that we get our monies.”
Efforts to get reactions of State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Queen Elizabeth Agwu were unsuccessful as she neither picked her calls, nor responded to messages sent to her phone.