The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in the Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State was set on fire by some thugs, destroying many Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and other valuables.
INEC’s National Commissioner & Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, stated this in a statement on Sunday
“The incident occurred around 10.00 am when some unidentified persons set the entire building ablaze.”
“Although no casualties resulted from the attack, the main building and all the movable and immovable items inside it were destroyed. These include 340 ballot boxes, 130 voting cubicles, 14 electric power generators, large water storage tanks, assorted office furniture and fixtures, and yet-to-be-determined quantities of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).”
According to him, security agencies have been alerted about the most recent occurrence, and an inquiry has already begun.
“Sadly, this is the third attack on our local government office in less than three weeks following similar attacks on our offices in Ogun and Osun states on 10th November 2022,” Okoye said.
Attacks on election offices have been occurring recently in the southeast, where separatists attempt to establish a separate state for the Igbo inhabitants. However, they are less frequent in the southwest.
With the armed forces waging an insurgency in the northeast, heavily armed crime gangs in the northwest and central states, and separatist agitators in the southeast, security will be a crucial concern in the election.
As the 2023 election draws near, the security challenges threaten security in the polls. If INEC offices have been under attack recently, what is the hope during the poll?