Nigeria’s electoral body, INEC, has said constant attacks on its offices may affect the country’s electoral activities.
The commission, in a statement issued on Monday, said its recently renovated office in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State was set ablaze by unidentified persons on Sunday night.
While no casualties were recorded, the commission said the incident led to the destruction of electoral materials and equipment which adversely means loss of millions of tax-payers’ funds .
“There are no casualties on the part of our staff on guard duty but 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,” the INEC’s spokesperson, Festus Okoye, said in the statement.
The latest disturbing incident is not the first in the state in recent times. The commission’s facilities in Arochukwu LGA and Aba South were ransacked, vandalised and completely burnt in October and December 2020 respectively.
A similar incident played out in its office in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, giving rise to figures of coordinated attacks on the commission’s facilities in the South-east and south-south regions of the country.
“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, including 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,” Mr Okoye said, alluding to damaging impacts of such attacks on Nigeria’s democratic exercise and electoral assets.
“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,” the commission said.
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