The Executive Director of advocacy group, YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo has decried the persistent attacks on offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), describing it as disturbing.
Itodo, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Roadmap 2023, a pre-recorded programme that highlights preparations for the 2023 general elections, said the recurring attacks on INEC offices is a waste of taxpayers’ money because same will be used to rebuild the destroyed facilities.
According to him, there has been no fewer than 52 attacks on the electoral body’s offices between 2019 and 2022, including those in Imo State, a hotbed on gunmen.
Of the incidents, Itodo stated that 15 states of the federation were affected by either suspected cases of arson or gunmen attacks.
“This attempt is systematic and we can clearly see that there is just an attempt to ensure that election does not hold in those contexts,” Itodo said.
He noted that the continuous attacks on INEC’s offices were designed to ensure that elections do not hold in those areas and that in turn will affect the credibility of the poll.
He said the situation must be tackled decisively to ensure that the investment in the democratic process is worthwhile.
On Wednesday, gunmen attacked INEC office in the Isu Local Government Area of Imo State. The attack, which is the latest of such facilities to be destroyed by gunmen in the South-East, is the fourth on INEC offices in less than three weeks in the state.
The situation forced the Federal Government to deploy security personnel, including the officers of the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services to electoral offices given the frequency of attacks in the state.
For full interview with Mr Itodo, watch Roadmap 2023 on Monday, December 26, 2022 at 9pm on Channels Television.