The newly renovated Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Ohafia Local Government Area, Abia State has been set ablaze.
The incident which was reported to have occurred on Sunday night, 9th May 2021, caused great destruction on the building. The destruction of furniture items, all electoral materials and office equipment were also reported.
Disclosing this in a statement, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for the State, Dr. Joseph Iloh, reported this when the Commission met today, Monday 10th May 2021, and discussed a widerange of issues, including a disturbing report from Abia State.
The matter has been reported to the police for investigation.
It will be recalled that only last week, 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 ongoing expansion of voter access to Polling Units, resumption of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), pending bye-elections, end-oftenure elections and ultimately the 2023 General Election.
The latest incident in Abia State is one too many, as this is not the first attack on the Commission’s facilities in the State in recent times.
Five months ago on the 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 be protected. Accordingly, the Commission is convening an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) next week to discuss this disturbing trend.