The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), local office in Akwa Ibom State has been set ablaze by hoodlums.
A statement made available to the press on Sunday by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, disclosed that the incident was reported by the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State, Barr.
“The incident occurred in the early hours of this morning, Sunday 2nd May 2021. 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”, INEC stated.
The Commission recalled that on the eve of the 2019 general election, the newly constructed prototype LGA office in Ibesikpo Asutan was burnt down while two more offices in Mkpat Enin and Eastern Obolo LGAs were bombed.
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“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.”
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The Commission assured citizens that no stone will be left unturned to recover from the incident in Akwa Ibom State.