INEC office set ablaze in Akwa-Ibom

The Office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), in Essien Udim local government area of Akwa Ibom State, has been set ablaze.

Confirming the development in a press statement,  the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said: “The incident occurred in the early hours of this morning, (yesterday); our 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 an investigation.

According to the statement, “It will be recalled that on the eve of the 2019 General Election, our newly constructed prototype LGA office in lbesikpo Asutan was burnt down, while two more offices in Mkpat Enin and Eastern Obolo LGAs were bombed.

“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 on-going 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 lbom State as we continue to prepare for all electoral activities”, Okoye concluded.

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