• Convenes Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security
‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja
DAILY COURIER – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed worry over the coordinated arson on its offices in Ogun and Osun states 106 days to the general election.
A statement by the National Commissioner and Chairman
Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye Esq on
Thursday November 10, 2022 states that the office, located at Iyana Mortuary axis of Abeokuta South local government area of Ogun State, was gutted by fire.
Similarly, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Osun State, Dr. Mutiu Agboke, reported that the office in Ede South Local Government Area was attacked and set ablaze.
According to reports, 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).
The Ogun State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Niyi Ijalaye, who confirmed the incident, described it as shocking.
“It is correct that our office may have been deliberately torched. The police are investigating the matter. I do not know what to say. I’m in shock myself.
”We called the police and other security agencies at night. The fire brigade put the situation under control. The level of damage is still being assessed.
“It is very shocking and untoward. The security agencies are doing their very best. We are meeting again later today to come up with other strategies toward securing our facilities”, Ijalaye said.
The incident in Ede, Osun state occurred in the early hours of this morning when some unidentified persons attacked the building and set a portion of it ablaze.
The damage in Ede South Local Government according to the statement was limited to a section of the building and only some furniture items were destroyed.
While expressing the concern of the commission, the statement reads in part: “With just 106 days to the 2023 General Election when the Commission has commenced the movement of materials to our offices nationwide, these simultaneous attacks are very worrisome indeed.”
Similarly, the commission is disturbed on 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.
“Accordingly, the Commission has convened an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) tomorrow Friday 11th November 2023 to discuss the disturbing trend” the statement concluded.