INEC offers employment to Corps member who lost sight in accident
The Independent National Electoral Commission has fulfilled its earlier promise to offer automatic appointment to an ex-Corps member, Daniel Oluwatobi, who lost his sight in an accident on election duty during the 2011 general elections.
The Commission noted that the contribution of the National Youth Service Corps scheme in deepening democracy is invaluable.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave the commendation on Friday during a courtesy visit, which also witnessed the presentation of the offer of employment to Oluwatobi at the NYSC headquarters in Abuja.
While presenting the offer of employment to the Director General of the NYSC, Brigadier General Sule Kazaure, the INEC Chairman said: “When we visited you last on the unhappy occasion of the loss of a corps member (Okonta Samuel), we promised you that another corps member who lost his eye sight in an accident on election duty will be offered immediate automatic employment. I am happy to note that we have fulfilled our promise. Furthermore we have invited that particular ex-corps member to accompany us on this particular visit. And it would be my pleasure to handover the brand new appointment.”
Extolling the virtues and contribution of corps members on election duty to national development, Professor Yakubu said: “I want on behalf of INEC to continue to show our profound appreciation to the NYSC. I have recourse to say here that we draw our most dedicated, most committed, most literate non partisan election duty staff from the NYSC. I don’t know what would have happened to the conduct of elections in Nigeria going forward without the NYSC. We are most grateful indeed for this partnership.”
He explained that after the sad events of 2011, INEC had extended the electoral hazard insurance to all ad-hoc staff including youth corps members covering both life, and injuries adding that the Commission was aware of the need to review some of the terms of engagement with the NYSC, particularly in the area of remuneration but pointed out: “We all know the circumstances under which we operate, but I wish to assure you that at the earliest opportunity we will do a review.”
On security for corps members on election Day, the INEC Chairman decried the increasing rate of attacks on corpers lodges in the country and assured that INEC has taken steps to intervene. Said he: “The corpers lodges have become targets for unknown reasons, but we have responded. When the lodges are burnt down or vandalized to come in and assist.”
Professor Yakubu further explained that there is a bilateral committee with membership drawn from both organizations and the Commission reviews from time to time the terms of engagement between them, particularly in the areas of welfare, security, insurance and challenges that arise from the conduct of elections.
He said: “We have met periodically to review the Memorandum of Understanding, the last of which was reviewed in the year 2013. We find this system really very useful in strengthening our relationship in national interest.”
He promised that the Commission would continue to work with the NYSC and other security agencies to provide adequate security for election duty corps members.
Kazaure, appreciated the Commission for its partnership and particularly commended its kind gesture of awarding automatic employment to Daniel Oluwatobi.
He pointed out areas in the MoU between both organizations that need review.
He said: “There is a need to review the MoU in the following areas; adequate security arrangement for Corps members during and after elections should be considered, transportation on election day should also be looked into, review of election allowanced paid to corps members, review of insurance cover for corps members on election duty should also be looked into.”
Oluwatobi, who was full of excitement, expressed appreciation to the Chairman of INEC and the NYSC DG for the kind gesture.
He said it showed that his sacrifice for the building of the nation was not forgotten but is being appreciated.