Barely a week after hoodlums set ablaze its office in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has again suffered a fresh attack on its property. Its office in Ohafia Local Government Area in Abia State which was renovated recently has been set ablaze.
A statement signed by the National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barrister Festus Okoye, which was made available to newsmen in Abuja disclosed that the incident occurred late on Sunday night.
While it clarified that there were no casualties on the part of its staff on guard duty, the statement expressed regret that “the building was virtually destroyed. Apart from furniture items, all electoral materials and office equipment were destroyed. The matter has been reported to the police for investigation.”
Okoye said the commission was worried about incessant attacks on its facilities and has consequently summoned for next week, an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) to discuss this disturbing trend.
The statement which listed previous attacks on its property in certain states across the country maintained that its logistics for scheduled elections and expansion of polling units across the country would not be aborted by the activities of hoodlums.
The statement further read in part: “The latest incident in Abia State is one too many. This is not the first attack on the commission’s facilities in the state in recent times. Five months ago on December 13, 2020, the INEC LGA office in Aba South was completely burnt down while that of Arochukwu LGA was vandalised and ransacked in October 2020.
“These facilities are national assets, which must be protected. Accordingly, the commission is convening an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) next week to discuss this disturbing trend.
“Meanwhile, the commission wishes to reassure Nigerians that all activities in relation to the ongoing expansion of voter access to polling units and preparations for the resumption of CVR as well as all scheduled elections will proceed as planned.”