Gunmen Attack Another INEC Office in Southeast Nigeria

Nigeria: Unknown Gunmen Another Attack on INEC Office in Imo State (News Central TV)

On Sunday, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, reported a new attack on one of its Imo State offices. The second attack comes just 72 hours after the first one, which happened on Thursday.

Festus Okoye, Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee and National Commissioner of INEC, made this disclosure in a statement.

Festus Okoye

He claimed that the most recent assault on its office in Imo State’s Oru West Local Government Area occurred at around 4:00 am on Sunday.

He pointed out that only three days had passed when suspected arsonists broke into the Commission’s headquarters in the Orlu Local Government Area.

“The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Imo State, Professor Sylvia Uchenna Agu, has reported that our office in Oru West Local Government Area was attacked at about 4.00am today Sunday 4th December 2022,” he said.

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“The attack affected the Conference Room where office furniture and fittings were destroyed. However, other critical facilities were not affected.

“It would be recalled that on Thursday 1st December 2022, our office in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State was also attacked.”

In five states of the federation during the past four months, the electoral umpire’s facilities have been the target of seven similar attacks, according to Okoye.

The Commission is extremely concerned about the “consequences of what appears to be a systematic attack on its infrastructure across the country on the conduct of elections in particular and electoral operations in general,” the official continued.

The INEC National Commissioner remarked that this most recent occurrence has caught the notice of security services for possible investigation and prosecution.

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In the meantime, INEC has once more reassured Nigerians that the general election of 2023 will go as scheduled despite repeated attacks on its facilities.

The gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections will take place on March 11, 2023, while the presidential and National Assembly elections are scheduled for February 25.

With only three months till the general elections, the Commission has lamented the recent wave of attacks on its facilities, estimating that hoodlums have targeted 50 INEC offices. Attacks were reported in 21 different states.

“I just want to assure the nation that our sensitive materials are not in any of these places where these attacks have occurred,” he said.

“We have secured the BVAS and other sensitive materials that will be used in the conduct of this election. Those materials are not in any of these facilities that are being attacked.”

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According to Okoye, the electoral umpire is working closely with security agencies to forestall a recurrence of attacks on its facilities.

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