By Akombo Aondona, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that the obviously orchestrated attacks on its offices and officials in the South-East would not stop the commission from going ahead with its preparations for this year’s general elections in the troubled region.
INEC gave the assurance on Monday 16 January, 2023 via a statement by Barr. Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voters Education Committee at INEC, following yet another attack on one of its facilities in Enugu State, which occurred on Sunday, 15 January, 2023.
Okoye wrote: “The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Enugu State, Dr. Chukwuemeka J. Chukwu, has reported that our office in Enugu South Local Government Area was attacked by unknown gunmen. The incident occurred around 9.12pm yesterday, Sunday 15th January 2023.
“The security gatehouse was razed. Fortunately, the attackers could not gain access to the main building as a result of the rapid response from the Police and Army personnel from 82 Division. The State Commissioner of Police and the REC were personally at the scene immediately they received information about the attack. Of the two Policemen deployed to protect the facility, one of them lost his life while the other sustained injuries and is receiving treatment. The Commission prays for the repose of the soul of the deceased policeman and the speedy recovery of the injured.
“The attack is being investigated by the security agencies. Furthermore, a meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Enugu State co-chaired by the REC and the Commissioner of Police has been convened to discuss the latest incident and design additional strategies of fortifying the offices and protecting the personnel and materials.”
Rhe INEC commissioned added: “Meanwhile, the destroyed gatehouse will be rebuilt, and the Commission is proceeding with its preparations for the 2023 General Election in Enugu State and the entire country as scheduled.”