Fresh worry as fire again, guts INEC office in Abia

The Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC has reported yet another fire incident at one of its offices in Abia State.

Confirming the latest incident, Barrister Festus Okoye, National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said in a statement, Monday that, “The Resident Electoral Commissioner for the State, Dr. Joseph Iloh, reported that INEC’s recently renovated office in Ohafia Local Government Area has been set ablaze.

Okoye said, “The incident occurred late on Sunday night, 9th May 2021. There are casualties on the part of our staff on guard duty the building was virtually destroyed. Apart from furniture items, all electoral materials and office equipment were destroyed.”

He added that the matter has been reported to the police for investigation.

It will recalled that only last , the Commission reported an attack on its office in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and expressed anxiety about the impact of such attacks on electoral activities, including the expansion of voter access to Polling Units, resumption of the Continuous (CVR), pending bye-elections, -of-tenure elections and ultimately the 2023 General , Okoye said.

Undoubtedly, this growing fire incidents is becoming a a source of worry. Okoye noted that “The latest incident in Abia State is one too many. This is not the first attack on the Commission’s facilities in the State in recent times. Five months ago on 13th December 2020, the INEC LGA office in Aba South was completely burnt down while that of Arochukwu LGA was vandalised and ransacked in October 2020.

“These facilities are national assets, which must protected. Accordingly, the Commission is convening an emergency of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Security (ICCES) next to discuss this disturbing trend.”

Meanwhile, the Commission has reassured Nigerians that all activities in relation to the expansion of voter access to Polling Units and preparations for the resumption of CVR as well as all scheduled elections will proceed as planned.

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