By Ebi Perekeme
Another building belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was on Sunday set ablaze in Imo State, Nigeria’s South-east.
The INEC office is located at Njaba Local Government Area of the state.
“Although no life was lost, the building was substantially burnt down, along with electoral materials, office equipment and furniture.”
Festus Okoye, INEC national commissioner in-charge of information and voter education, said in a statement on Sunday.
Video clips posted on Twitter by the electoral commission showed thick dark smoke billowing from the attacked facility.
The attack is coming one week after another INEC office was similarly attacked in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of the state.
“It is also the 8th INEC office to be attacked in Imo State since the 2019 General Election,” Mr Okoye said in the statement.
He said the latest attack brings to 42 the number of INEC offices that have been attacked nationwide since 2019.
“INEC buildings, infrastructures and equipment are critical national assets that guarantee the continuity of electoral activities throughout the federation.
Attacking these offices is not in the national interest and has the capacity of compromising electoral activities and the credibility of the electoral process,” the commissioner added.
The attacks on INEC facilities around the South-east and the South-south regions, just similar attacks on security agencies, appear coordinated and with the intention to cause fear and to erode citizens’ trust in government authority, apparently.
IPOB, a pro-Biafra group, which has been proscribed by the federal government, has denied accusations that it is responsible for the attacks in the regions.