The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the Continuous Voter Registration Exercise (CVR) exercise in a local government in Imo State following the murder of its staffer.
This was made known by the spokesperson of INEC, Festus Okoye, on Thursday.
He said a staffer of the commission identified as Nwokorie Anthony, was shot dead at Nkwo Ihitte (PU 004) in Amakohia Ward (RA 02) of Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area in the state by unknown gunmen on Thursday.
Mr Anthony was among the INEC Adhoc Staff registering members of the community for the 2023 general elections when tragedy struck.
The whereabouts of two other affected staff remain unknown as security operatives expand their search in the area.
For the fear of insecurity, Nigeria electoral umpire had earlier suspended the CVR exercise in Orsu and Njaba, two of the LGAs in Imo State.
“Prior to this incident, the Commission had suspended the CVR in Orsu and Njaba Local Government areas of the State on account of insecurity while the exercise is taking place only at the INEC LGA office in Oru East, Oru West, Orlu and Ohaji – Egbema Local Government Areas of the State,” Mr Okoye said.
Mr Okoye extended the commission’s condolences to the family of the deceased and urged members of the public as well various unions in Imo State to help in safeguarding its officials.
The latest attack, which claimed Mr Anthony’s life, is one of the many the commission has recorded in the last three years across its offices and facilities in the last three years.
Just like Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Anambra and Abia States, the INEC offices in Imo have recorded a number of attacks.
There was an arsonists’ attack on an INEC office in Orlu local government in February 2019 after a court ordered a rerun election in the state.
Another building belonging to the commission was also set ablaze in Imo State in May
Read the full Statement by INEC:
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION
CONTINUOUS VOTER REGISTRATION: ATTACK ON OFFICIALS IN IMO STATE
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the Continuous Voter Registration Exercise (CVR) exercise in Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area of Imo State.
This is sequel to a report by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Professor Emeka Ezeonu, to the effect that today, 14th of April 2022, Mr. Nwokorie Anthony, a staff of the Imo State office of the Commission involved in the ongoing CVR exercise, was shot dead by unknown gunmen at Nkwo Ihitte (PU 004) in Amakohia Ward (RA 02) of Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area. The REC further reported that the State Office is making efforts to locate the whereabouts of the two remaining staff involved in the registration exercise.
Prior to this incident, the Commission had suspended the CVR in Orsu and Njaba Local Government areas of the State on account of insecurity while the exercise is taking place only at the INEC LGA office in Oru East, Oru West, Orlu and Ohaji – Egbema Local Government Areas of the State.
The Commission extends its condolences to the family of Nwokorie Anthony and prays that God will grant them the fortitude to bear the loss. The incident has been reported to security agencies to unravel the circumstances that led to this unfortunate incident and bring the culprits to justice.
We enjoin the President General of the various Town Unions in Imo State as well as all the critical stakeholders to protect staff of the Commission engaged in national assignment. The safety and security of staff is of paramount importance to the Commission, particularly with the devolution of the voter registration exercise beyond our State and Local Government Area offices nation in our determination to reserve Nigerians better.
Festus Okoye Esq.
National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee.
Thursday 14th April 2022
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