INEC reacts as hoodlums burn down its Enugu office

It was gathered that the state fire service could not put out the inferno until the entire building was razed down.

Hoodlums set INEC office ablaze in Enugu. (TheNation)

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed that hoodlums burnt down its office at Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.

According to news reports, the incident occurred on Sunday, July 03, 2022, when the arsonists stormed the office situated at the council’s headquarters in Ogurute.

Confirming the incident, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr. Emeka Ononamadu, in a statement on Monday, July 04, 2022, said the arsonists overpowered the security guards, forced their way into the premises, and set the building ablaze.

He said although no casualties were reported, 748 ballot boxes, 240 voting cubicles, office furniture, and equipment were destroyed in spite of the effort of the Enugu State Fire Service deployed from Nsukka.

Ononamadu added that the Commission is working to ascertain the status of voter registration machines for the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise as well as uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) locked up in the fireproof cabinet.

"The incident has been reported to the Nigeria Police for investigation and further action.

"The attack, coming in the middle of the voter registration exercise and other preparations for the 2023 General Election, is worrisome. It will be recalled that on 23rd May 2021, our office in the neighbouring Igboeze South Local Government Area was attacked in a similar manner by unknown gunmen.

"This followed earlier attacks on the Udenu Local Government Area office on 13th May 2021 and the State Headquarters in Enugu on 16th May 2021.

"The Commission has since substantially recovered from these attacks and resumed normal activities there, including the VR and collection of PVCs.

"The Commission will continue to work with the security agencies and the emergency services to protect our facilities,” the statement added.

It was gathered that the state fire service could not put out the inferno until the entire building was razed down.

It was also gathered that parts of the local government had been under attacks recently by unknown gunmen wreaking havoc in the southeastern region.

Recall that the state government had recently imposed a 6 pm to 6 am curfew and banned commercial motorcyclists in the Igboeze North and its neighbouring Igboeze South.

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