ABUJA – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has summoned an emergency meeting of the security meeting over recent attacks on its facilities.
The parley, which will be attended by heads of security agencies, who are members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) including the National Security Adviser (NSA) will discuss the disturbing trend.
National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye disclosed that the meeting was triggered by the attacks on the commission’s Local Government offices in Ogun and Osun States on Thursday.
Okoye said the hoodlums carried out the attacks in Abeokuta Local Government and Ede South Local Government Areas in the two southwest states on Thursday morning.
He said: “This morning, the Commission received two disturbing reports of attacks on our Local Government offices in Ogun and Osun States.
“The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Ogun State, Dr. Niyi Ijalaiye, reported that our office in Abeokuta South Local Government Area was attacked and set ablaze.
“The incident occurred around 1.15am when some unidentified persons overpowered the security personnel on duty and set the entire building ablaze.
“The main building and all the Commission’s movable assets in the office were destroyed. They include 904 ballot boxes, 29 voting cubicles, 30 megaphones, 57 election bags, 8 electric power generators and 65,699 uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
“Similarly, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Osun State, Dr. Mutiu Agboke, reported that our office in Ede South Local Government Area was attacked and set ablaze.
“The incident occurred in the early hours of this morning when some unidentified persons attacked the building and set a portion of it ablaze.
“Fortunately, the damage to our Ede South Local Government was limited to a section of the building and only some furniture items were destroyed.
“The attention of the Nigeria Police Force and other security and safety agencies has been drawn to the incidents and they have commenced investigation.
“With just 106 days to the 2023 General Election when the Commission has commenced the movement of materials to our offices nationwide, these simultaneous attacks are very worrisome indeed.
“Similarly, the rising incidents of attacks on supporters of various political parties since the commencement of campaign barely two months ago and the use of hate and incendiary language by some politicians are extremely disturbing.
“Accordingly, the Commission has convened an emergency meeting of the ICCES tomorrow Friday 11, November 2023 to discuss the disturbing trend.”