The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Orlu LGA, Imo state, has been set on fire.
INEC’s national commissioner and chairman of the information and voter education committee, Festus Okoye, stated this in a statement on Friday.
This is the fourth attempt on an INEC office in three weeks.
INEC offices in Osun, Ogun, and Ebonyi were recently set ablaze, resulting in the destruction of thousands of permanent voter cards (PVCs), ballot boxes, and other election materials.
Sylvia Uchenna Agu, the resident electoral commissioner (REC) for Imo, said the incident happened on Thursday, according to Okoye’s statement.
“The building, which is undergoing extensive renovation following an earlier attack, was vandalised and partially set ablaze,” the statement reads.
“Three out of seven construction workers were abducted but later released.
“The damage would have been more extensive but for the quick response of the Nigeria Police which has deployed its personnel to the site.
“This is one attack too many. The Commission once again expresses its concern over the spate of attacks on its facilities and the negative consequences on our preparations for the 2023 General Election.”
Meanwhile, INEC has stated that the recent attacks on its facilities will not prevent the 2023 general election from taking place.
“We will continue to engage with security agencies to ensure that these offices, as well as personnel and our facilities, are protected ahead of the election,” INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu recently stated.
“We may express some concern about the attack on these facilities, but it will never deter the commission from going ahead with the election as scheduled.”
The Herald reported that INEC has set dates for the collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in each of the country’s 774 local government offices.
The Commission set the collection dates for PVC as Monday, December 12, 2022, to Sunday, January 22, 2023.
Festus Okoye, National Commissioner of INEC and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, announced this in a statement on Friday, saying the Commission decided on the dates after deliberating on a number of issues on Thursday.
“The Commission met on Thursday, 1st December 2022, and deliberated on a number of issues, including the dates for the collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) nationwide,” INEC said.
“It will be recalled that the Commission held a retreat in Lagos with all the Administrative Secretaries and Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) from the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) from 28th November to 2nd December 2022. At the retreat, the Commission finalised the procedure as well as the timetable for the collection of PVCs.
“Consequently, the Commission has fixed Monday 12 December 2022 to Sunday 22 January 2023 as the dates for the collection of PVCs in all the 774 Local Government Offices of the Commission throughout the Federation.
“The Commission also resolved to devolve PVC collection to the 8,809 Registration Areas/Wards from Friday 6th to Sunday 15th January 2023.
“Those that are unable to collect their PVCs at the Local Government Offices of the Commission can do so at the Registration Areas/Electoral Wards.
“After the 15th of January 2023, the exercise will revert to the Local Government Offices of the Commission until the 22nd of January 2023.
“All eligible and valid registrants can collect their PVCs from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm daily, including Saturdays and Sundays.”
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