By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday said that it’s Enugu Office was on Sunday night set ablaze by arsonists destroying 748 ballot boxes, 240 voting cubicles, office furniture and equipment.
According the statement sIgned by the National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye Esq, made available to Sundiata Post, the arsonists overpowered the security guards, forced their way into the premises and set the building ablaze.
Okoye however said that no casualty was recorded in the attack that happened at 11.48pm on Sunday 3rd July 2022. The efforts of the Enugu State Fire Service deployed from Nsukka to salvage the situation proved abortive.
He stressed that 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 incident has been reported to the Nigeria Police for investigation and further action, he said.
INEC noted that the attack, coming in the middle of the voter registration exercise and other preparations for 2023 General Election, is worrisome.
Sundiata Post recalls that on 23rd May 2021, the INEC’s 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.
Okoye reiterated that the Commission will continue to work with the security agencies and the emergency services to protect the Commission’s facilities.