The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says critical election materials were destroyed in the attack at the commission’s local government office in Ogun State.
The commission’s office had been gutted by fire in the early hours of Thursday after suspected hoodlums torched the facility.
INEC’s commissioner for information and voter education, Festus Okoye, said over 65,000 uncollected PVCs were destroyed in the fire.
“The resident electoral commissioner (REC) for Ogun state, Dr. Niyi Ijalaiye, reported that our office in Abeokuta South local government area was attacked and set ablaze,” he said in a statement.
“The incident occurred around 1.15am when some unidentified persons overpowered the security personnel on duty and set the entire building ablaze.
“The main building and all the commission’s movable assets in the office were destroyed. They include 904 ballot boxes, 29 voting cubicles, 30 megaphones, 57 election bags, 8 electric power generators and 65,699 uncollected permanent voters cards (PVCs).”
Okoye said they also got report that one of the commission’s offices in Osun was attacked and set ablaze, and that an emergency security meeting had been called to get to the bottom of the electoral threats.
“Similarly, the resident electoral commissioner for Osun state, Dr. Mutiu Agboke, reported that our office in Ede South local government area was attacked and set ablaze,” he said.
“The incident occurred in the early hours of this morning when some unidentified persons attacked the building and set a portion of it ablaze.
“Fortunately, the damage to our Ede South local government [office] was limited to a section of the building and only some furniture items were destroyed.
“The attention of the Nigeria Police Force and other security and safety agencies has been drawn to the incidents and they have commenced investigation.”
Okoye said, with just 106 days to the 2023 general election when the commission has commenced the movement of materials to its offices nationwide, these simultaneous attacks are very worrisome.
He said the rising incidents of attacks on supporters of various political parties since the commencement of campaign barely two months ago and the use of hate and incendiary language by some politicians are extremely disturbing.