Several Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and other items were destroyed when some hoodlums set the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in the Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State on fire.
“The incident occurred around 10.00 am when some unidentified persons set the entire building ablaze,” INEC’s National Commissioner & Chairman
Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said in a Sunday statement.
“Although no casualties resulted from the attack, the main building and all the movable and immovable items inside it were destroyed. These include 340 ballot boxes, 130 voting cubicles, 14 electric power generators, large water storage tanks, assorted office furniture and fixtures, and yet-to-be-determined quantities of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).”
He said security agencies have been informed about the most recent incident and that an investigation has started.
“Sadly, this is the third attack on our local government office in less than three weeks following similar attacks on our offices in Ogun and Osun states on 10th November 2022,” Okoye said.
Election offices have been attacked recently in the country’s southeast, where separatists are seeking a breakaway state for the local Igbo people, but attacks in the southwest are rarer.
Security will be a major issue in the election with the armed forces battling an insurgency in the northeast, heavily armed criminal gangs in the northwest and central states, and separatist agitators in the southeast.
Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria has also been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, fallout from the war in Ukraine, and its worst flooding in a decade that has impacted farms and food production.
Nigerians go to the ballot box in February to vote for a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army commander who steps down after two terms in office.
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With some local governments not having banks, the governor fears that beating the CBN deadline is infeasible.