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Again, unknown arsonists raze INEC office in Imo

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The Njaba Local Government Area, Imo state office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been razed by unknown arsonists.

This was announced by INEC said in a statement on Sunday.

“Although no life was lost, the building was substantially burnt down, along with electoral materials, office equipment and furniture,” Festus Okoye, the commission’s spokesman, said.

This is coming exactly a week after the commission’s office in Ahiazu Mbaise LGA of Imo was also attacked.

It is the 12th office of the electoral umpire that has been razed following a recent trend of targeted attacks in the southeast in 2021.

The spate of attacks on the electoral umpire started in Abia, on May 9, and spread to other four states in the region: Enugu and Ebonyi, with three incidents each;  Imo, with two attacks; and Anambra and Abia with one each.

However, the recent attacks have concentrated in the south-east where nine of them were recorded — all in May.

The commission had earlier announced that the continuous voter registration ahead of the next elections will resume on June 28 — but some of the items to be used in the exercise have been destroyed in most of the attacks.

Okoye said on Sunday: “INEC buildings, infrastructure 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 democratic process.”

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