Ahead of the March 18 governorship and House of Assembly elections in Lagos State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dismissed allegations that it removed Igbo and South-South individuals from the list of ad hoc staff.
This comes following rumours circulating on social media that the electoral body in Lagos had removed all personnel from these regions from participating in sensitive election duties on March 18th.
In response, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, issued a statement on Wednesday evening through the Head of Department, Voter Education and Publicity, Mrs Adenike Tadese, refuting the claims as fake news that should be disregarded.
“INEC Lagos State read with great surprise and concern on the social media in respect of the removal of all Igbo and South-South staff in Lagos State from participating as ad hoc staff in the state during the forthcoming governorship and House of Assembly elections on March 18.
“It has become imperative to correct the erroneous accusations in some quarters and put the record straight that the ad hoc staff (collation officers) engaged during the presidential and National Assembly Elections on February 25 in Lagos State were 738 in number, bearing in mind that three elections were held.
“The forthcoming governorship and House of Assembly will only require the services of 427 collation officers because only two elections are involved.
“It is pertinent to state unequivocally that members of staff that are Igbo were all returned to work as collation officers in the forthcoming elections while SPOs (Supervisory Presiding Officers) maintained their positions,” Agbaje said.
Agbaje added that he never had a phone conversation with the ‘Obidients, Sanwo-Olu, and Tinubu’ and emphasized that he did not possess their contact numbers.
He encouraged the public to disregard false news, incorrect information, and deception and to enable INEC in Lagos to concentrate on the upcoming elections to achieve the intended outcomes.
“Whoever has information concerning the day and time of the said telephone conversation should not hesitate to make it public.
“The commission will continue to uphold the fundamental principles of equity, fairness, transparency, credibility and accountability in line with the vision and mission to be a pre-eminent leader in deepening electoral democracy as an unbiased election management body,” he said.