INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega ..
By Chuks Okocha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday paid N4.6 million each to the families of members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who died following the Suleja bombings during the 2011 general election.
The money was paid to the next of kins of the corps members that were used as ad hoc staff during the election.
The money was paid by the Finance Department of the commission.
Family members were paid under closed doors as members of press were shut out from the ceremony.
A source at the INEC Finance Department told THISDAY that the money was part of insurance claims as the corps members who worked as ad hoc staff were insured.
The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, confirmed the payments to THISDAY.
INEC, while presenting the cheques to the families of the victims in Abuja, through an insurance company, Niger Insurance Company Plc, said the money was meant to assist them.
The Deputy Director, Insurance and Due Process of Niger Insurance, Mr. Thomas Afanga, who presented the cheques on behalf of the organisation, regretted the incident just as he said INEC was determined to protect its staff in the course of their constitutional assignments.
One of the victims’ families who identified himself leader, Dr. Ezeezuemeh Ethelbert, expressed gratitude over the commission’s gesture, saying the money would assist them in no small measure even as he regretted that President Jonathan was yet to fulfil his promise to the surviving victims of the blast.
The president had, through former Director General of NYSC, General Ismaila Tsiga, at the presentation of N5 million to the families of those who died during the incident, promised automatic employment to those that survived.