Scores of ad-hoc staff who participated in the last Presidential and National Assembly elections in Oyo state have abandoned their respective polling units in fear of violence in Ibadan North West Local Government Area.
The development, newsmen report has made the electoral officers in the local government to hurriedly begin the process of replacing the young men and women who failed to report to the local government yesterday.
There are 11 electoral wards in Ibadan North West.
The development was noticed by newsmen who visited Onireke, headquarters of the local government when they saw scores of young men and women putting down their names to replace those who did not report for the elections.
An INEC official who identified himself as Olusegun told journalists that they were surprised that some of those who served in the last elections could not report due to fear of attacks.
Though, the state command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), had told newsmen that the command has deployed no fewer than three thousand and five hundred personnel to provide security cover for the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections taking place today in the 33 local government area of the state.
Public Relations Officer (PRO), of the command, Mr. Olusegun Oluwole, made this disclosure while speaking in an interview with newsmen at the command’s headquarters in Ibadan, the state capital on Friday.
Oluwole maintained that the officers who were already in their areas of deployment were deployed in order to ensure hitch-free elections.
He said, “The NSCDC Oyo state command has deployed about 3,500 officers to monitor the elections in the 33 LGAs and 35 LCDAs. You can see our vehicles there, some have gone. Those who are going to far places have gone. We have taken the issue of vote buying serious and we are doing it along with other security agencies. We are putting our heads together to ensure that security threat is tackled.
“Most of the senior management staff from the headquarters are also here in our zone. With that, we are going to have credible and fair elections. Our officers are going to work with other security agencies. We are going to have tight security tomorrow. So, there will be no problem.
“The way and the training they are giving our officers, you must be apolitical. All of us that will be going out, all of us have been trained on electoral matters. And that is why we are giving out our numbers to report in case of any complaint.
Olusegun while speaking with journalists on how the ad-hoc staff failed to report today said, “Some of those who participated in the last elections could not come due to fear of attacks.
‘You can see, we have to call for replacement of those who could not report.
“Those who are being used for replacement are already putting down their names.
“There are 11 wards in this local government, what we did is that, when we noticed the shortfall of the personnel, we called for replacement.
“I don’t know the figure now, but it cut across the local government, it may be due to fear of attacks. Though, we don’t know what they did not report”.