INEC denies removing Igbo staff from election duty in Lagos
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied blocking south-east and south-south ad-hoc staff from participating in the Lagos state governorship election.
A Twitter user had on Wednesday alleged that INEC excluded staff from the geopolitical zones from sensitive election duty ahead of the March 18 poll.
“They did not give any reason, but it was said that the INEC leadership which takes directives from the Tinubu political group said they do not trust the Igbo/SS staff to do as they will want them to do at the election,” the tweet reads.
“INEC is supposed to be a neutral federal agency, but they have been badly compromised beyond recognition.”
Reacting in a statement signed by Tadese Adenike, HOD, voter education and publicity in Lagos, the commission said it read the allegation on social media with “great surprise”.
INEC said while 738 ad-hoc staff (collation officers) were engaged during the national elections, the forthcoming governorship and house of assembly will only require the services of 427 collation officers because only two elections are involved.
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“It is pertinent to state unequivocally that members of staff that are Igbos were all returned to work as Collation Officers in the forthcoming elections while SPOs (Supervisory Presiding Officers) maintained their positions,” the statement reads.
INEC said it was equally alleged that Olusegun Agbaje, INEC REC in Lagos, was in cahoots with some political actors to rig the gubernatorial election in the state.
“Whoever has information concerning the day and time of the said telephone conversation should not hesitate to make it public,” the statement reads.
“Going by the above frivolous allegations, it is obvious that the orchestrated stories were fabricated to impugn INEC and taint the reputation of Mr Olusegun Agbaje MFR, mni the honourable resident commissioner INEC Lagos state.
“Without mincing words, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje MFR, mni is a man of integrity, sincerity, fully committed and dedicated to the service of the commission and the entire citizens of Nigeria irrespective of ethnicity or political affiliation.
“The public should shun fake news, misinformation and disinformation and allow INEC in Lagos state focus on the forthcoming election in order to achieve the desired result.”