By Joy Odor
The Enugu State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Emeka Ononamadu has reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC office in Udenu Local Government Area has been set ablaze.
The National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barrister Festus Okoye Esq who made this known to newsmen in a press statement in Abuja on Friday said the tragic incident occurred around 8.40pm on Thursday 13th May.
According to him, no casualties were reported but the office building was extensively damaged while electoral materials and office equipment were destroyed in spite of the best efforts of the Enugu State Fire Service to contain the inferno.
Barrister Okeye confirmed that the attention of the Police has been drawn to yet another very worrisome development for investigation.
This is the third incident involving INEC’s Local Government offices in three States in less than two weeks in Essien Udim LGA of Akwa Ibom State and, Ohafia LGA office in Abia State.
He said this is yet another setback to the Commission’s ongoing activities and preparations for upcoming electoral activities.
Following the attack in Abia State, the Commission resolved to convene an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) next week to discuss this disturbing trend.
The latest destruction of the Commission’s physical infrastructure and electoral facilities in Enugu State calls for an immediate review of the measures necessary to secure INEC’s assets across the States.
Consequently, the Commission is convening an emergency meeting with all the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Wednesday 19th May 2021 in Abuja ahead of the meeting of ICCES.
Meanwhile, the Commission is determined to continue to discharge its responsibilies, including the conclusion of the expansion of voters’ access to Polling Units, resumption of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), capacity-building activities, the review of the draft Strategic Plan 2022-2026, engagement with stakeholders as well as all scheduled and pending elections.
The INEC Commissioner however appreciated the intervention of the Fire State Service.