The office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Essien Udim Local Government Area was today razed down by suspected hoodlums.
The incident, which occurred in the early hours of Sunday 2nd May 2021 was confirmed by the National Commissioner and Chairman, INEC’s Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye on Sunday.
Okoye disclosed that items destroyed in the inferno included 345 ballot boxes, 135 voting cubicles, megaphones, water tanks and office furniture.
“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, megaphones, water tanks and office furniture.
“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 investigation,” he stated.
Recall that on the eve of the 2019 General Election, INEC’s newly constructed prototype LGA office in Ibesikpo Asutan was burnt down while two more offices in Mpat Enin and Eastern Obollo LGAs were bombed.
“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.
“Nevertheless, the Commission wishes to assure Nigerians that we are making efforts to recover from the incident in Akwa Ibom State as we continue to prepare for all electoral activities,” Okoye stated.