The Independent National Electoral Commission has said that it is going to hold an Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security with the security chiefs to “specifically discuss the solution to these unprovoked and unjustified attacks by arsonists” in the South-East region.
The commission in a message to SaharaReporters on Wednesday stated that at the end of the critical meeting, a decision as to the next line of action will be taken.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, stated this in a response to an inquiry on Wednesday.
He said, “The Commission is at the moment meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to discuss the spate of attacks and how to effectively stop them.
“Next Monday, May 24, 2021, the Commission will meet with security agencies, under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) to specifically discuss the solution to these unprovoked and unjustified attacks by arsonists.
“We believe that at the end of these two critical meetings, a decision will be taken in the next line of action.”
Earlier, two INEC offices in Ebonyi State were burnt by unknown hoodlums in an apparent arson attack. The incident which occurred on Tuesday night was the fourth of such attack on INEC facility in one week.
On Monday, about six vehicles were razed when hoodlums attacked the INEC office in Enugu State.
The attack which occurred late on Sunday night was the third on the Commission’s facility in the state. Also, on Sunday, May 2, one of its offices in Akwa Ibom State was set ablaze by unknown persons.
This was announced by Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee in a statement titled “INEC Local Government Are Office In Akwa Ibom State Set Ablaze.”
According to the statement, the incident happened at INEC’s office in the Essien Udim Local Government Area in the state and many ballot boxes and other electoral materials were destroyed.
It read, “The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini, has reported that our office in Essien Udim Local Government Area has been set ablaze.
“The incident occurred in the early hours of this morning, Sunday, May 2, 2021. 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, mega phones, water tanks and office furniture.
“The police which have also been battling with attacks on their facilities and personnel are aware of the incident and have commenced investigation.
“It will be recalled that on the eve of the 2019 general elections, our newly constructed prototype LGA office in Ibesikpo Asutan was burnt down while two more offices in Mpat Emin and Eastern Obolo LGAs were bombed.”
INEC offices have been witnessing a series of attacks by unknown persons lately, particularly in the South-East and South-South zones.
Last week, the Commission’s office in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State was set ablaze by hoodlums on Sunday night, a week after the Commission’s Headquarters in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State was also razed by unknown persons.