Suspected arsonists have destroyed another office Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State, South Eastern Nigeria.
The attack is the fourth against INEC facilities in less than three weeks.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that on November 10, similar attacks were carried out on the offices of the commission in Ogun and Osun states respectively.
An INEC local office was last Sunday burnt down by unidentified people in Ebonyi State, South East Nigeria. The yet to be identified Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) were destroyed in the attack.
The last incident was on Thursday.
The INEC spokesman, Festus Okoye, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.
Mr. Okoye said the Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Sylvia Agu, reported the incident to the commission.
“The building, which is undergoing major renovations after a previous attack, was vandalized and partially burned,” he said.
The INEC spokesman said three of the construction workers who were renovating the facility were initially kidnapped by the assailants but later released.
“The damage would have been greater, but in a quick response Nigeria Police (Force) who deployed his staff to the site,” he stated.
The Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, on Monday said the latest attacks on its facilities will not stop the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
But Mr. Okoye said the attacks on INEC facilities have become “too much” and expressed the commission’s concern over the spate of attacks on its facilities and the negative impact on preparations for the 2023 general elections.
It is not the first time in the Southeast
Despite the ongoing attacks on INEC offices across the country, the commission has in recent times become the target of armed men in the South East.
The attacks have raised fears of a 2023 general election in the region.
About four months ago, some suspected arsonists destroyed an INEC office in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Also, two INEC offices were burnt down in May 2021 in Ebonyi state. The offices are located in Ezza North and Izzi local government areas of the state.
Another INEC building, in May 2021, was also burnt down in Imo State, South East Nigeria.
Again, in September 2021, the office of the committee was burnt down in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Attacks on INEC facilities in the South-East and South-South regions, as well as security agencies, have been attributed to the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
But the group has repeatedly denied having participated in the attacks.
IPOB is the group leading the agitation for an independent state of Biafra, and it wants to carve out Nigeria from the South-East and parts of the South-South.
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