The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday said 65,699 uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) were destroyed by hoodlums who attacked two of its offices in Ogun and Osun states.
According to Chairman, INEC Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, 904 ballot boxes, 29 voting cubicles, 30 megaphones, 57 election bags, and eight electric power generators were also destroyed by the unscrupulous elements.
The attacks occurred separately at the commission’s offices in Abeokuta South Local Government Area of Ogun State and the Ede South Local Government Area Of Osun State.
Okoye, in a statement, said both incidents occurred in the early hours of Thursday, noting that while the entire building of its Abeokuta office was set ablaze, a portion of its Ede office was burnt.
Emergency Meeting Convened Over Worrisome Attacks
The INEC National Commissioner said security agencies have been alerted and investigation had commenced into the worrisome attacks.
“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,” he said.
Okoye also said the commission has convened an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) for Friday, November 11, 2023 to discuss the “disturbing trend” of political violence.
“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,” he lamented.
A convoy of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar was reportedly attacked by hoodlums in Borno State on Wednesday. The PDP and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have traded blames over the incident.
A rally by the former Vice President in Kaduna on October 17, 2022 was also disrupted by thugs.
With about three months to the next general elections, political violence seems to be on the increase with some recorded in parts of Zamfara and Lagos states, spreading fears about the safety of voters at the polls in 2023.