Awka – The National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) says the security and welfare of corps members that will participate in the 2019 general elections remains its top priority and no compromise on it.
Mr Kehinde Aremu, Coordinator of the scheme in Anambra said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Tuesday.
Aremu said NYSC in the state had at least, 10, 000 corps members who would be available to work as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as ad-hoc staff during the elections.
He said nursing mothers and pregnant women would not be allowed to participate as Poll Officers (PO) due to their peculiar condition.
The coordinator said 326 corps members had been approved to work with INEC for the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to electorate in 326 electoral wards in the state.
Aremu said he had scheduled tour of the 21 local governments of the state to engage council administrators, community leaders, politicians, Divisional Police Officers and other security agencies on corps members’ safety.
“Anambra has about 13, 200 corps members and about 10, 000 will be available for the election exercise.This is because nursing mothers and pregnant women will not be allowed to take part.
“For NYSC as a scheme, we shall not compromise the safety of our children, so we are having stakeholders’ engagement to ensure their security is guaranteed.
“However, security in Anambra is good, the assurance is encouraging, at the Inter-Agency Consultative Forum for Election Safety level, we have raised concern which have been adequately addressed,” he said.
Aremu said NYSC would ensure that INEC make full disclosure on the welfare of corps members’ and duly transmit their honorarium to those that would take part in the elections.
“In the past, there have been issues of nonpayment or shortchanging of corps members who participated in elections, but this time, we want to guard against it.
“INEC should tell the corps members selected for the exercise what their welfare is going to be like in terms of allowances, feeding, and transportation and pay them accordingly.
“They should clarify these issues with the NYSC headquarters so that we don’t have problem in the state at the end of the day.
“I have no doubt that corps members will discharge their election duty with integrity and patriotism, we have told them what the society expects from them, right from their days in camp.
“We have also told them that being corps members does not immune them from prosecution, they should not act against electoral laws and process.” he said.