A former Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mike Igini says attacks on the offices of the electoral umpire are attacks on democracy but non-state actors can’t stop the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
He also said the electoral commission will reproduce all Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) burnt by hoodlums during attacks on its offices.
“I am very concerned about the attacks on INEC offices across the country particularly in the areas that have been identified,” Igini said on Channnels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
Attacks on INEC offices have surged in recent times with at least three incidents recorded only in November. 65,699 uncollected PVCs were destroyed by hoodlums who attacked two of its offices in Ogun and Osun states while several PVCs and other electoral items were also burnt during an attack in Ebonyi State.
However, Igini said INEC has the information of all PVCs at state and national offices and it won’t take it days to reproduce them.
“INEC has the capacity to respond to these challenges, particular in respect to the PVCs that have been burnt. INEC has the number of all the PVCs…It is a matter of days, INEC will produce those PVCs,” he said.
He urged Nigerians not to be discouraged but to ensure they get their PVCs and exercise their franchise in the next general election.
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The former REC also decried the inability of security agencies to bring perpetrators of violent attacks on INEC offices to book.
“Why should extra-constitutional actors, why should non-legitimise actors continue to attack INEC. It is an attack on democracy. My pain is that we have not been able to track anybody.
“It is a big challenge to all security agencies in this country that for these years, we have been unable to track those who attack our democracy.
“Look at what happened in the US, all those who attacked the Capitol Hill have been brought to book everyday but here we are in a state of anomie,” Igini stated.