NEC got to be careful how it takes care of its staffers in these elections. Peaceful & Transparent Elections must begin with NEC. It has being alleged that NEC promised to pay exhibition officers and Clerks US$15 plus feeding for the 3 days training workshop(US$5 per day). But, to the surprised of the over 400 young people trained in Montserrado County, precisely at the Mount Barclay NEC center, on yesterday, the paying team decided to pay them only US$5.00 claiming that the staffs were fed.
According to my source, this caused serious problem which led to riot and protest by the young people and some key officials of NEC had to intervene. However, because it was an organized act to steal from the young people, the decision was not reverted. Unfortunately, out of the 450 officers and clerks, less than 200 were paid in Liberian dollars; some received L$510 while others L$520. And worse of all, the process lasted up to 9:00PM yesterday and those youth had to risk their lives to pass through Red-Light and travel distances to get home.
I am troubled again by this allegation and calling on the Board of Commissioners of NEC to intervene. As long as we’re calling on political parties and people of Liberia to support peaceful elections and transaction, NEC has the biggest responsibility to ensure the process is free, fair and transparent. NEC must begin by living up with promises to its staffers.
Finally, I would like to recommend to the Board of Commissioners and Senior Management of NEC to adopt some modern methods to enhance its workings in these elections, especially with its staffs.
1. That staffs, volunteers and contractors sign formal contracts that will contain roles/responsibilities, duration, location, salaries, other benefits and date, venue and time of payment of salaries/incentives and method of payment
2. That NEC use mobile money method (Lonestar and Cellcom, but must consider the service fees) to pay staffs within a specify date and time.
I hope this will claim the attention of NEC.
Jarius Andrew Greaves
Liberian Youth Development Worker
UN SDSN-Youth Initiative Local Pathways Fellow
Founder/Executive Director, Yoner Liberia