By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Gunmen on Tuesday set ablaze the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Ogidi, Idemili South Local Government Area, Anambra State, destroying non-sensitive materials for 2023 general elections.
The Commission disclosed this in a statement by its Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Okoye said that the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Anambra State, Dr Queen Agwu, reported that the incident occurred in the early hours of Tuesday.
He said that the building was substantially damaged, as all furniture and other items, including non-sensitive materials recently delivered in readiness for the 2023 general elections, were destroyed.
“Among the items lost to the inferno are 729 ballot boxes, 243 voting cubicles, 256 election bags, 11 megaphones, one electric power generator and large quantities of indelible ink and liquid gum.
“However, uncollected Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) kept in the fireproof cabinet were not affected by the inferno.
“Similarly, no sensitive materials have been delivered to the LGA office,” he said.
Okoye said that the destruction appeared to have been coordinated as the Nnobi Police Station in the LGA was similarly attacked.
He said that in spite the despicable incident, INEC wished to reassure the people of the LGA that contingency arrangement would be made to replace the materials.
Okoye assured the people that the Presidential and National Assembly elections would proceed on Feb. 25 as scheduled, to be followed two weeks later by the State House of Assembly election. (NAN)