The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned that the preparations for electoral activities may be affected with the recent attacks on the Commission’s office by hoodlums.
The number of the commission’s offices burnt by hoodlums rose to 21 on Sunday night with the attack on the Enugu State headquarters of the electoral body.
Most states affected by the recent attacks includes Akwa Ibom (four), Abia (three) Anambra (two) and Imo (two).
Other states that witnessed fire incidents between February 2019 and May 2021 are Borno, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Kano, Ondo, Plateau and Rivers. Abuja was also affected.
The INEC office in the Obollo-Afor, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State was razed by a midnight fire last Thursday while on Sunday, the headquarters of INEC in the same state was gutted by fire. This brings the total number of offices gutted by fire in the last two years to 21.
The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, on Monday warned that the commission’s capacity to prepare properly for future elections could be affected if the attacks on its facilities as being witnessed lately in parts of the country continued.
Mr Oyekanmi said, “The commission will not be deterred by the unprovoked spate of attacks from carrying out the required electoral activities in the region and the entire country.
However, these deliberate and misplaced attacks on the commission’s facilities cannot and should not continue.
If they continue unabated, preparations for electoral activities may be affected.”
He described the damage done by the arsonists as “extensive.”
It is difficult at the moment to ascertain the exact cost of the extensive damage caused by the burning down of some of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s offices in different parts of the South East region.
But one thing is certain: replacing and rebuilding the assets and infrastructure destroyed by the arsonists will cost the country a lot of money. The damage is extensive,” he said.
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