Three INEC Offices Set Ablaze In Ebonyi State

Unidentified persons have set three offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ebonyi State on fire, leading to severe damages to the buildings.

The electoral body which shared details of the incident on its official Twitter handle on Wednesday morning explained that the affected buildings are in Izzi, Ebonyi, and Ezza North local government areas of the state. 

A photo of one of the affected buildings. Photo: Twitter@ INEC Nigeria.

“Last night, Tuesday 18th May 2021, two INEC offices in Ebonyi and Ezza North Local Government Areas of Ebonyi State were burnt down by unidentified persons,” the electoral body tweeted.

INEC’s spokesman in Ebonyi State, Ali Sunday noted although no person was injured during the attack which took place on Tuesday night, sensitive materials were burnt. 

Security formations and offices of the electoral body in the South East have come under attacks in recent months, leading to fears about preparations for the 2023 elections in Nigeria.

INEC fears the attacks may affect the 2023 elections.

A few days back, materials and equipment were destroyed during a fire outbreak at the INEC office in Enugu State.

“This is the third incident involving INEC’s Local Government offices in three States in less than two weeks,” the body said in a statement.

A portion of the razed office.

On Sunday, May 16th, 2021, six vehicles were razed with two others damaged following an attack on the Enugu State office of the electoral body.

“The attackers set the foyer ablaze, vandalised some offices in the main building and caused extensive damage to some of the Commission’s movable assets within the premises,” INEC explained.

“Six utility pick up vehicles (Toyota Hilux) were burnt down while two more were smashed and damaged. The security agencies who were at the scene have commenced an investigation.”

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The latest attack is coming as INEC prepares for a meeting (billed for today) with security agencies due to the incessant assaults on the commission’s offices across the country.

While lamenting the spike in attacks on its offices, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, expressed fear that the developments may affect early preparations for the 2023 general elections if allowed to continue.

A portion of the razed office.

“We are worried that our preparations are being distracted and distorted. We are also worried because some of our officers are now living in fear in relation to what is going on,” he added.

“There is no doubt whatsoever that what is going on is unacceptable, and it is going to divert the attention of the commission from early preparations for the 2023 elections and for the off-season elections that we’re organising.”

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