Hoodlums on Wednesday set ablaze a facility of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of Information Education, Festus Okoye, confirmed this in a statement.
Okoye said the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra State, Elizabeth Agwu, reported the attack to the commission.
According to him, the building was “substantially damaged” in the attack.
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He said, “All furniture and other items were destroyed, including non-sensitive materials recently delivered in readiness for the 2023 general election.
“Among the items lost to the inferno are 729 ballot boxes, 243 voting cubicles, 256 election bags, 11 mega phones, one electric power generator and large quantities of indelible ink and liquid gum.”
The INEC official, however, said Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) kept in the commission’s “fireproof cabinet” were not affected during the attack.
He added that no sensitive materials have been delivered to the local government area office as of the time of the attack.
Okoye said the attack appeared to have been coordinated given that a police facility in Nnobi was also attacked by the gunmen.
‘Elections Will Hold As Planned’
Despite the attack, INEC assured that the 2023 general elections would hold as planned.
“Despite this despicable incident, the commission wishes to reassure the people of Idemili South Local Government Area that contingency arrangement will be made to replace the (destroyed) materials and the Presidential and National Assembly elections will proceed on 25th February 2023 as scheduled, to be followed two weeks later by the House of Assembly election,” Okoye said.