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Attack On Facilities: Conduct Of 2023 General Election Worrisome, Says INEC

By UDEH DANIELLA

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed concern over recent attacks on its facilities. It said future elections may be affected if the trend continued unchecked.

“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 (CRV) and the conduct of polls”, Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said this in a statement on Sunday, while confirming an attack on the Commission’s office in Akwa Ibom State.

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Okoye said the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom, Mike Igini, reported that INEC office in Essien Udim Local Government Area was set ablaze at the early hours of Sunday morning, adding that though the security guard on duty escaped unhurt, but the destruction to the building and properties was extensive.

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He said items destroyed included 345 ballot boxes, 135 voting cubicles, megaphones, water tanks and office furniture.“The police, which have also been battling with attacks on its facilities and personnel in the area, are aware of the incident and have commenced investigation,” Okoye said, expressing concern, particularly with the ongoing conversion of voting points to polling units, voter registration and the conduct of future elections.

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He recalled that on the eve of the 2019 General Election, INEC newly constructed prototype local government council office in Ibesikpo Asutan was burnt down while two more offices in Mkpat Enin and Eastern Obolo were bombed.

However, the Commission assured Nigerians that it would leave no stone unturned to recover from the incident in Akwa Ibom as it continued to prepare for all electoral activities.

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