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Page 5 Rivers re-run: Missing youth corper found alive – INEC By Fidelis Mac-Leva Another youth corps member, Amana Oniekon, who worked as an ad-hoc…

Page 5

Rivers re-run: Missing youth corper found alive – INEC

By Fidelis Mac-Leva

Another youth corps member, Amana Oniekon, who worked as an ad-hoc but could not be immediately accounted for in the wake of the bloody violence that trailed last Saturday’s national and state assembly re-run elections in Rivers State had been found hale and hearty, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) revealed.

Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu made this known during a condolence visit to the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier-General Johnson Bamidele Olawunmi over the death of Okonta Samuel, a serving Youth Corps member who lost his life as an ad-hoc staff during the election.

“We are glad to note that the other Corps member, Amana Oniekon Odoeto who could not be accounted for, has been found alive, hale and hearty but understandably traumatized,” Yakubu said.

Professor Yakubu assured that the Commission would fully participate in honouring the sacrifice of late Okonta Samuel and other members of the NYSC who may have suffered injury or even worse in the course of election duty in Nigeria in any way the NYSC considered appropriate.

Extolling the virtues and contributions of Corps members in the conduct of elections, he said: “The young men and women in the NYSC are among the most educated, most committed, most reliable, most neutral and most patriotic election duty staff available to INEC. Their loss in the course of double national assignment, the youth service and election duty is a tragedy of monumental national proportion.

“The NYSC and INEC have been in this happy partnership which tremendously helped in the management of our elections. I can’t imagine the successful conduct of elections in Nigeria without the partnership of the NYSC”, he said.

Director General of the NYSC, Brigadier General Johnson Bamidele Olawunmi, called on the government of Rivers state to do everything possible to pursue the incident to a logical conclusion to ensure that those who killed the young man were brought to book.

“It is a shame that a society where there is a government, where there are community leaders and elders will allow an innocent corps member to be killed within where this Corps member was offering national service”, he lamented.

Meanwhile a meeting between INEC and the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Rivers State as well as the monitors and supervisors who superintended the ill-fated re-run elections was billed to take place yesterday after which the Commission is expected to take a decision on the way forward.

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