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Nigeria’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed serious concerns over the increasing spate of attacks on its facilities, warning that if left unchecked, the 2023 general elections preparations could be jeopardised.
The electoral body gave this warning while reacting to the fresh fire incidents in its State Headquarter office in Enugu, the Commission revealed that six utility pick-up vehicles (Toyota Hilux) were burnt down while two more were smashed and damaged.
In a statement signed by National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr Festus Okoye, INEC, insisted that the emergency meeting scheduled this week will go ahead.
‘Last night, Sunday, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Enugu State, Emeka Ononamadu, reported an attack on the State Headquarters office of INEC in Enugu.
‘Some unidentified persons overpowered the security personnel on duty around 9.00 pm and tried to set the entire building ablaze. The attention of the security agencies, as well as the Federal and State Fire Services in Enugu, was drawn to the unfolding situation and they responded swiftly.
‘The attackers set the foyer ablaze, vandalised some offices in the main building, and caused extensive damage to some of the Commission’s movable assets within the premises.
‘Six utility pick up vehicles (Toyota Hilux) were burnt down while two more were smashed and damaged. The security agencies who were at the scene have commenced an investigation.
‘As we categorically mentioned in our earlier statements, the spate of attacks on the Commission’s facilities portends danger to national electoral activities.
‘The Commission is holding an emergency meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, and a further statement will be released ahead of another emergency meeting with heads of all the security agencies in the country under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES),’ the statement read.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK