INEC offices have come under increased attacks in recent times. Photo: Twitter/INEC
Fire has gutted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Igboeze South Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The fire incident which happened on Sunday evening razed a room in the office but was put out by fire service operatives.
In a series of tweets on its official handle on Monday evening, the electoral body shared photos of the fire incident.
INEC says attacks on its offices may mar preparations for the 2023 polls. Photo: Twitter/INEC
“The store was completely burnt down before the Neighbourhood Watch and the Enugu State Fire Service responded and prevented the inferno from razing other parts of the building,” INEC explained.
The Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Aliyu also confirmed the inferno and has ordered a thorough investigation into the matter with a view to unravelling the cause and those behind the incident.
Sunday’s fire incident is the latest in the recent waves of assaults and arson on INEC offices across the country, particularly in the South-East region.
Gunmen had on the same day, attacked INEC’s headquarters in Anambra State and equally attempted to attack the Police ‘B’ Divisional Headquarters close to the INEC office but were repelled by the operatives on duty.
A section of the INEC office gutted by the inferno. Photo: Twitter/INEC
The assailants had embarked on a mission to attack the police station to cause severe destruction, but it became an unsuccessful operation as the attempt was repelled by security operatives who engaged them in a fierce firefight, killing two of them in the process.
The scene at the INEC Office, Igboeze South LGA, Enugu State after yesterday’s attack.👇 pic.twitter.com/ohdiy3S2pq
— INEC Nigeria (@inecnigeria) May 24, 2021
An ‘Unacceptable’ Act
The electoral umpire had lamented the increased spate of arson and attacks on its offices, raising fears that the development may adversely affect its preparations for the 2023 general election.
“We are worried that our preparations are being distracted and distorted. We are also worried because some of our officers are now living in fear in relation to what is going on,” INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said.
“There is no doubt whatsoever that what is going on is unacceptable, and it is going to divert the attention of the commission from early preparations for the 2023 elections and for the off-season elections that we’re organising.”