The office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has been set ablaze.
National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, confirmed this in a statement.
Okoye said the incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning, 2 May 2021.
According to Okoye, the security guard on duty escaped unhurt but the destruction to the building and properties therein was extensive.
“Items destroyed include 345 ballot boxes, 135 voting cubicles, megaphones, water tanks and office furniture.
“The police, which has also been battling with attacks on its facilities and personnel in the area, is aware of the incident and has commenced investigation,” Okoye said.
He recalled that on the eve of the 2019 General Election, INEC newly constructed prototype LGA office in Ibesikpo Asutan was burnt down while two more offices in Mkpat Enin and Eastern Obolo LGAs were bombed.
He said, “The recent attack on our facility after we have just concluded the inventory of electoral materials nationwide in readiness for the 2023 General Election is worrisome. If unchecked, these attacks may constitute a setback on the Commission’s preparations, including the ongoing conversion of Voting Points to Polling Units, the forthcoming Continuous Registration of Voters (CVR) exercise and the conduct of polls.
“Nevertheless, the commission wishes to assure Nigerians that we will leave no stone unturned to recover from the incident in Akwa Ibom State as we continue to prepare for all electoral activities.”