In News by Oluwaseun Samuel on the 27th, June, 2020

How INEC Dumped Me After Accident, Listening to Loss

How INEC Dumped Me After Accident, Hearing Loss

Stephen Alao

Stephen Alao

In line with a report by The PUNCH, on March eight, 2019, the eve of the governorship and state Home of Meeting elections, Stephen Alao, a then corps member serving in Kebbi State, was concerned in a deadly accident. His pores and skin was pierced, his physique caught within the fragmented car wherein he travelled. Blood gushed out of his proper ear, eye and nostrils.

Rescuers thought he was useless till assist got here his manner. He regained consciousness after a number of hours.

Alao, a 28-year-old indigene of Oka-Akoko in Ondo State, was among the many 16,000 advert hoc employees recruited by the Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee for the 2019 normal elections in Kebbi State.

In line with the graduate of Geography and Planning Science from the Adekunle Ajasin College, Akungba, Ondo State, he was among the many 2018 Batch C Stream II corps members in Kebbi State with state code KB/18C/2282. He served on the 223 Battalion Nigerian Military, Zuru and taught Geography on the Military Day Boys Excessive Faculty.

For the 2019 normal elections, he was deployed in Tundu-Bichi 1 Polling Unit at Ribah, Danko-Wasagu Native Authorities Space of the state. The space between Zuru, his place of main task, and Ribah (about 32km) was lower than an hour.

He efficiently travelled for the presidential election on February 23, 2019. However he almost misplaced his life two weeks later when he travelled for the March 9, 2019 governorship election.

On the eve of the governorship election, Alao mentioned he left the INEC workplace at Zuru round 8pm after accumulating the electoral supplies wanted for the election and boarded a saloon automobile heading for Ribah. He mentioned he sat on the entrance with one other passenger, making three individuals who sat on the entrance with the motive force. 4 passengers sat on the again. The highway was nicely paved, so the motive force raced to get to their vacation spot on time. However that was an enormous mistake that price two passengers their lives.

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“We have been near Ribah when the accident occurred. I learnt that extra dashing precipitated it. It was darkish and the car’s headlamps weren’t shiny. Our car ran right into a ditch and hit an electrical pole. Two passengers died. They needed to disintegrate the automobile earlier than we have been pulled out.

“I used to be knowledgeable pastor in the neighborhood mobilised his church members to take us to the hospital that night time,” Alao instructed Sunday PUNCH.

He and different injured passengers have been thereafter admitted to the Common Hospital at Ribah, the place he regained consciousness after a number of hours.

He added, “I used to be the one corps member among the many passengers. After I regained consciousness, I noticed blood trickling from my proper ear.

“I used to be referred to the Usmanu Danfodiyo College Instructing Hospital, Sokoto, that very same night time. A army ambulance from my PPA took me from Ribah to Sokoto. A feminine colleague escorted me on the journey of about 4 hours. I used to be admitted to the Neurophysiological Division for 3 weeks. I couldn’t speak or stroll, so I used a stretcher all through the interval. An NYSC official and a few INEC officers visited me.”

Alao mentioned after three weeks of therapy, he was discharged from UDUTH. Although he might now stroll and speak, he observed his proper eye was partially blind and he might now not hear along with his proper ear.

“My eardrum was broken, I used to be instructed. Till now, my proper ear made a number of noise and I can’t use it to listen to. I can not additionally see lengthy distant objects clearly once more,” he mentioned.

Alao mentioned docs on the UDUTH referred him to the Lagos State College Instructing Hospital to proceed his therapy, so he sought redeployment from Kebbi State to Lagos State to proceed his service 12 months whereas going to the hospital for therapy. On the time, he nonetheless had six months to serve.

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Alao’s redeployment letter, signed by the then NYSC Kebbi State Coordinator, Mr Barde Usman, was sighted by our correspondent. It was titled, ‘Affirmation of involvement of a corps member, Alao Stephen, (KB/18C/2282) in a highway accident through the 2019 Governorship and State Home of Meeting Elections.’

Dated Could 10, 2019, and addressed to the state coordinator, NYSC Secretariat, Lagos, the letter learn, “Reference to the above, I want to verify to you that the corps member was truly concerned in a highway accident on March eight, 2019, on his manner from the INEC workplace in Danko/Wasagu Native Authorities Space to the polling unit in Ribah the place he was deployed for the elections.

“He was initially admitted to the Common Hospital in Ribah however was referred to Usmanu Danfodiyo College Instructing Hospital, Sokoto, on March 10, 2019. He was admitted, handled and discharged on March 20, 2019. Thereafter, he was relocated to Lagos on well being grounds for the continuation of his nationwide service.”

Nonetheless, Alao acknowledged that he was disenchanted as he was left alone to cater for his therapy on the hospital afterwards, and even after his service 12 months resulted in October 2019.

He mentioned, “INEC has deserted me; they haven’t achieved something for me. The one factor they did was to pay my transport fare from Kebbi to Lagos once I was redeployed. They have been presupposed to pay for my flight however they requested me to board a bus. On the day I travelled to Lagos from Kebbi, I spent 28 hours on the highway. On account of this, I had a rib fracture.

“I used to be handled at a non-public hospital in Ikeja, Lagos once I arrived. There was a time an official from the INEC at Kebbi State known as me and requested me to ahead my account particulars to them; he mentioned my particulars can be forwarded to the nationwide secretariat at Abuja. However until now, I’ve heard nothing from them.

“I’ve spent over N200,000 and I must do extra exams earlier than the docs would know what surgical procedure I’ll require and the way a lot it would price. I used to be presupposed to go for some exams on March 28, 2020, however I’m ready for the COVID-19 lockdown to be over earlier than going for them. I’m being handled at each the Eye and ENT (Ear, Nostril and Throat) departments at LASUTH.”

In the course of the course of this interview, Alao paused at some intervals, saying he couldn’t hear what our correspondent was saying. “I need assistance to get again my listening to and full sight so I can get a brand new job and handle myself and household,” he mentioned.

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The Director, Press & Public Relations, NYSC, Mrs Adenike Adeyemi, mentioned Alao incurred a medical invoice of N134,500 at UDUTH, which was paid by the corps.

“He didn’t inform the NYSC of listening to impairment and partial blindness between then and now. Corps members on INEC task are insured,” she instructed Sunday PUNCH.

INEC Chief Press Secretary, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, mentioned the fee had at all times paid claims by way of insurance coverage corporations to injured corps members and households of deceased corps members. He mentioned he had forwarded Alao’s particulars to the fee’s Director of Insurance coverage to know the state of his case.

“I’ve forwarded his (Alao’s) particulars to the Director of Insurance coverage (at INEC) to see if Alao’s insurance coverage claims had been paid. I’m nonetheless anticipating particulars. Some insurance coverage claims have been paid to injured corps members and households of deceased corps members. I’m ready for the Director of Insurance coverage to get Alao’s coverage particulars. After I get the checklist, I’ll see if Alao’s identify is on it, then I can reply,” he mentioned.

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