The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, says it is saddened by a wide-range of issues, including a disturbing report from Abia State.
A statement signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Barrister Festus Okoye says the Resident Electoral Commissioner for the State, Dr. Joseph Iloh, had reported that INEC’s recently renovated office in Ohafia Local Government Area has been set ablaze.
The report indicated that the incident which occurred late Sunday night, recorded no human casualties but the building was destroyed
According to the statement, furniture items, as well as all electoral materials and office equipment were destroyed.
It will be recalled that only last week, the Commission reported an attack on its office in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and expressed anxiety about the impact of such attacks on electoral activities, especially the ongoing expansion of voter access to Polling Units, resumption of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), pending bye-elections, end-of-tenure elections and ultimately the 2023 General Election.
The latest incident in Abia State is said not to be the first attack on the Commission’s facilities in the State in recent times as the statement shows that five months ago exactly on 13th December 2020, the INEC LGA office in Aba South was completely burnt down while that of Arochukwu LGA was vandalised and ransacked in October 2020.
The statement reminded that the facilities are national assets, which must be protected hence, the Commission is convening an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) next week to discuss the disturbing trend.
Meanwhile, the Commission had reassured 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 adding that the incident has been reported to the police for further investigation.