An office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Enugu State, has been set ablaze by yet to be identified arsonists.
This development was confirmed in a brief statement on Monday by INEC’s National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye Esq.
Mr. Okoye disclosed that the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Enugu State, Mr. Emeka Ononamadu, reported that INEC’s Igboeze North Local Government Area office had been burnt.
According to the REC, the attack happened at about 11.48pm on Sunday the 3rd of July, 2022.
The arsonists are said to have overpowered the security guards, forced their way into the premises and set the building ablaze.
Although no casualties were reported, 748 ballot boxes, 240 voting cubicles, office furniture and equipment were destroyed in spite of the best effort of the Enugu State Fire Service deployed from Nsukka.
According to Mr. Okoye’s communique, the Commission is working to ascertain the status of voter registration machines for the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise as well as uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) locked up in the fireproof cabinet.
He added that the incident has been reported to the Nigeria Police for investigation and further action.
“The attack, coming in the middle of the voter registration exercise and other preparations for 2023 General Election, is worrisome,” the INEC spokesman stressed.
It will be recalled that on 23rd May 2021, an INEC office in the neighbouring Igboeze South Local Government Area was attacked in a similar manner by unknown gunmen.
This followed earlier attacks on Udenu Local Government Area office on 13th May 2021 and the State Headquarters in Enugu on 16th May 2021.
Okoye said the Commission has since substantially recovered from these attacks and resumed normal activities there, including the CVR and collection of PVCs.
He emphasized that the Commission will continue to work with the security agencies and the emergency services to protect our facilities.
Credit: Channels TV, except headline.