The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday said its office in Imo State has been attacked again.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye disclosed this in a statement.
He said the attack on its office in the Oru West Local Government Area of Imo State was attacked at about 4.00am on Sunday.
The latest attack, he noted, comes barely three days after suspected arsonists invaded the Commission’s office in 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.
“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.”
According to Okoye, Sunday’s attack is the seventh of its kind on the facilities of the electoral umpire in five states of the federation in the last four months.
He added that the Commission is deeply worried about 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.”
The INEC National Commissioner noted that the attention of security agencies has been drawn to this latest incident for investigation and prosecution.
‘2023 Poll To Hold Despite Attacks’
Despite repeated attacks on its facilities, INEC has again assured Nigerians that the 2023 general election will be conducted as planned.
While the presidential and National Assembly election is slated for February 25, the governorship and State House of Assembly polls will hold on March 11, 2023.
With just three months to the general elections, the Commission has bemoaned the spate of attacks on its facilities, putting the figure at putting the number of INEC offices attacked by hoodlums at 50. The attacks were recorded in 21 states.
Okoye, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Roadmap 2023, said the sensitive materials to be deployed for next year’s polls are not in the facilities that were recently attacked.
“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.”
According to Okoye, the electoral umpire is working closely with security agencies to forestall a recurrence of attacks on its facilities.