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Another INEC Office Burnt Down In Imo

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), arsonists have set fire to the organization’s headquarters in Imo State’s Oru West Local Government Area.

This was said in a statement released on Sunday by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee.

He said that the office of the commission in the Oru West Local Government Area had been assaulted at around 4 am on Sunday, December 4, 2022, according to Prof. Sylvia Uchenna Agu, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Imo State.

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

He also recalled that on Thursday, December 1, 2022, the INEC office in the Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State was also attacked.

He said, “Overall, this is the 7th attack on our facilities in five federation states in the last four months.

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“Once again, the commission expresses its concern on the consequences of what appears to be a systematic attack on its facilities across the country on the conduct of elections in particular and electoral activities in general.”

He said the attention of the security agencies had been drawn to this latest incident for investigation and prosecution.

There are concerns over renewed attacks on INEC facilities in the South East region. Suspected militants of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have been blamed for the attacks.

Lamenting the attacks, the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, called for immediate arrest and prosecution of those involved.

He made the call at an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Abuja following a spate of attacks on their facilities.

Also speaking in Lagos State at opening a two-day induction retreat for the commission’s resident electoral commissioners, Yakubu counted the losses the recent attacks had brought to the commission.

He stressed that only a timely arrest and prosecution of perpetrators would end the trend.

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He lamented that in the last four months, five local government offices of the commission were attacked by unknown persons, saying that critical facilities and assets were lost; hence the need to curb the trend urgently.

He said, “These facilities include 1,992 ballot boxes, 399 voting cubicles, and 22 electric power generators, as well as thousands of uncollected permanent voters’ cards, among many other items.

“These attacks must stop and the perpetrators apprehended and prosecuted. Our responsibility is to conduct elections. The best solution for us is the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators,” he said. (Daily Trust)

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