The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Sunday said incessant attacks on its facilities, if left unchecked, could pose a threat to preparations for the 2023 general elections.
The Commission was reacting to Sunday’s attack on its office in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state.
INEC in a statement on Sunday by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Barr. Festus Okoye, said its Resident Electoral Commissioner REC for Akwa Ibom State, Barr. Mike Igini, had reported that its office in Essien Udim Local Government Area had been set ablaze.
It was gathered that items destroyed include 345 ballot boxes, 135 voting cubicles, megaphones, water tanks and office furniture.”
The statement reads in part, “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 ongoing conversion of Voting Points to Polling Units, the forthcoming Continuous Registration of Voters (CVR) exercise and the conduct of polls.”
Okoye said 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.
He said, “Nevertheless, the Commission wishes to assure Nigerians that we will leave no stone unturned to recover from the incident in Akwa Ibom State as we continue to prepare for all electoral activities,” Okoye added.