The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has recorded another incident of fire, this time at its office in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area in Enugu State.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Enugu State, Mr. Emeka Ononamadu said arsonists razed the INEC office at 11.48pm on Sunday July 3, 2022, but no casualties were recorded.
According to a statement signed by the INEC National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye, the “arsonists overpowered the security guards, forced their way into the premises and set the building ablaze.”
It revealed that 748 ballot boxes, 240 voting cubicles, office furniture and equipment were destroyed in spite of the best effort of the Enugu State Fire Service deployed from Nsukka.
“The Commission is working to ascertain the status of voter registration machines for the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise as well as uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) locked up in the fireproof cabinet,” the statement indicated.
Okoye who expressed worries that the attack is coming in the middle of the voter registration exercise and other preparations for 2023 general election, said the incident has been reported to the Nigeria Police for investigation and further action.
He recalled similar incidents of fire attacks on the commission offices at Igbo-Eze South and Udenu LGAs in the state in 2021.
“It will be recalled that on 23rd May 2021, our office in the neighbouring Igboeze South Local Government Area was attacked in a similar manner by unknown gunmen. This followed earlier attacks on Udenu Local Government Area office on 13th May 2021 and the State Headquarters in Enugu on 16th May 2021.
“The Commission has since substantially recovered from these attacks and resumed normal activities there, including the CVR and collection of PVCs.
“The Commission will continue to work with the security agencies and the emergency services to protect our facilities,” Okoye stated.