The early morning attack on the State headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Monday in Imo state is the third in the last 12 days, Vanguard can report.
The incident follows the earlier attacks on INEC’s Orlu LGA office on Thursday, 1st December 2022, and Oru West LGA office on Sunday, 4th December 2022.
Consequently, INEC has raised the alarm about the systematic and targeted attacks on its facilities nationwide, ahead of the 2023 general election.
“Our Imo State Headquarters is located in the center of Owerri, the State capital, between a Court and the State Secretariat.
“This is therefore yet another systematic attack targeted at the Commission’s assets across the country, more so on the day that the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) commences nationwide ahead of the 2023 General Election”, said Festus Okoye Esq., INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee.
According to him, the Resident Electoral Commissioner REC for Imo State, Professor Sylvia Uchenna Agu, had reported that the INEC State Headquarters office in Owerri was attacked by gunmen at about 3 am on Monday.
He said the attack affected the part of the building occupied by the Election and Party Monitoring EPM Department while one official utility vehicle (a Toyota Hilux pickup van) was burnt.
“The response of the security and emergency services (the Fire Service) curtailed further damage to the building and other assets of the Commission. No critical election materials were destroyed. There were also no casualties involving staff of the Commission”, said Okoye.