The Independent Electoral Commission will replace materials destroyed in its offices by inferno before the general election and the loss will have no impact on its delivering a credible election. INEC chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu gave this assurance while delivering his opening remarks at a retreat which includes all the 36 Resident Electoral Commissioners and
The Independent Electoral Commission will replace materials destroyed in its offices by inferno before the general election and the loss will have no impact on its delivering a credible election. INEC chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu gave this assurance while delivering his opening remarks at a retreat which includes all the 36 Resident Electoral Commissioners and National Commissioners in Lagos.
It was a combination of shock and disbelief as INEC Chairman and his team visited the rubbles of what was left in its Abeokuta office on Monday. The office was set ablaze by arsonists on November 10, 2022.
INEC offices were recently attacked in Ebonyi state, Abeokuta in Ogun State and Ede in Osun State causing losses to its materials and equipment in the last three weeks. Security agencies are yet to announce arrests of culprits in all the incidents. But the Chairman of INEC said the commission has lost 1992 ballot boxes, 399 voting cubicles, and 22 electoral power generators in the recent vandalizations of its properties.
The INEC boss who had earlier on Monday visited Abeokuta, Ogun State to inspect the destroyed materials, where he assured Nigerians that the attacks would not disenfranchise the electorates. He, however, noted that the Ebonyi attack was the fifth attack on the commission facilities across the country. He added that there is a limit to the ability of the electoral commission to replace destroyed materials.
Professor Mahmoud, therefore, called for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators. Stating that the commission will liaise with security agencies to secure the country and its materials ahead of the 2023 elections. He added that bringing the arsonists and vandals to book will serve as a deterrence to the others that Nigeria is not a lawless country.
“On attacks on our offices, and destruction of facilities and assets across the country. In the last four months alone, five local government offices of the commission were attacked by yet unknown persons. Buildings are being destroyed; critical facilities are lost. These facilities include a total of 1992 ballot boxes, 399 voting cubicles, and 22 electoral power generators as well thousands of uncollected PVCs Among many others.
“These attacks must stop, and the perpetrators apprehended and prosecuted. Our responsibility is to conduct elections. I want to assure Nigerians that we will recover from these attacks. The lost materials will be replaced but there is a limit to our ability to keep replacing lost and damaged items with just 86 days until the general elections.
“We will continue to work with security agencies, traditional and community leaders, and all well-meaning Nigerians to stop these attacks. But the ultimate solution is the arrest and prosecution of the culprits so that vandals and arsonists don’t feel that bad behavior is acceptable in our country, Prof Mahmoud said.