Nigeria – The National Electoral Commission, INEC, says it is not deterred by the spate of arson and vandalisation targeting its facilities and property across the nation even though it has become profoundly worrisome as it may adversely affect its commitment to improving the electoral process.
Addressing an emergency meeting between him and all the Resident Electoral Commissioners, the National Chairman of the Commission, Professor Yakubu Mahmood who decried the spate of vandalisation which he said had been on the increase since the 2019 General Election, promised that the Commission will do its best to forestall disruptions to several upcoming electoral activities especially the Continuous Voter Registration, CVR, scheduled to hold simultaneously in two thousand, six hundred and seventy three centres nationwide.
Ekwi Ajide of our Abuja bureau reports that the emergency meeting was convened with a view to finding lasting solution to the problem which has now developed into a crisis.
Professor Yakubu recalled that about three weeks ago, three of the Commission’s Local Government offices in Essien Udim in Akwa Ibom State, Ohafia in Abia State and Udenu in Enugu State were set ablaze by yet to be identified persons.
He lamented that just last Sunday, its State office in Enugu suffered yet another arson and vandalisation in which parts of the building were ransacked and several vehicles razed.
The INEC Chairman noted that more facilities are being systematically targeted and attacked as two offices in Ebonyi and Ezza North Local Government Areas of Ebonyi State were burnt down on Tuesday.
According to him, facilities of the Commission are meant to serve the local communities for elections which are the most fundamental aspect of any democratic governance, therefore, targeting them cannot be justified as replacing the facilities in the prevailing economic circumstances will be a tall order and can adversely affect electoral services in the same communities.
The National Chairman cautioned that the Commission will work with security agencies to find and deal with perpetrators of the heinous crimes according to the law.