An office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State has been set ablaze.
The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Festus Okoye, who disclosed this on Monday, said the incident occurred late on Sunday night.
He, however, said that there are no casualties on the part of the commission’ staff on guard duty but the building was destroyed.
“Apart from furniture items, all electoral materials and office equipment were destroyed. The matter has been reported to the police for investigation,” Okoye said.
Okoye recalled that the INEC office in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State was set ablaze on May 2, 2021.
“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 (PUs), resumption of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), pending bye-elections, end-of-tenure elections and ultimately the 2023 General Election.
“The latest incident in Abia State is one too many. This is not the first attack on the commission’s facilities in the state in recent times. Five months ago on 13 December 2020, the INEC LGA office in Aba South was completely burnt down while that of Arochukwu LGA was vandalised and ransacked in October 2020.
“These facilities are national assets, which must be protected. Accordingly, the commission is convening an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) next week to discuss this disturbing trend,” Okoye said.
He, however, assured Nigerians that all activities in relation to the ongoing expansion of voter access to the PUs, preparations for the resumption of CVR and all scheduled elections will proceed as planned.