TENSION AS GUNMEN SET INEC OFFICE ABLAZE IN AKWA IBOM
Gunmen on Sunday May 2 set the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ablaze in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The incident was confirmed by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.
He said the office was set ablaze by unidentified persons in the early hours of Sunday, May 2nd, 2021.
Part of the statement reads; “The resident electoral commissioner of Akwa Ibom state. Barr. Mike Igini confirmed that our office in Essien Udim LGA has been set ablaze."
Okoye said the security guard on duty was unhurt but the destruction to the building and properties were extensive.
Items destroyed include; 345 ballot boxes, 135 voting cubicles, megaphones, water tanks and office furniture.
He added that the police have commenced investigation into the attack on the facility. The INEC Chairman also warned that the attack could delay the Commission's preparation for the 2023 general election.
“If unchecked these attacks may constitute a setback for the commission preparations including the ongoing conversion of voting points to polling units, the continuous registration of voters (CVR) exercise and the conduct of polls,” he said.
This comes 24 hours after hoodlums suspected to be members of IPOB invaded the Ibiaku Ntok Police station in Ikono LGA of Akwa Ibom State, on Saturday, killing two officers, and setting the vehicles ablaze in the process.