In Ogun and Osun States, two offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were attacked and set on fire yesterday by suspected hoodlums.
This occurred right when the Commission yesterday called a security conference in response to reports of attacks on political party rallies and campaigns.
In particular, the alleged hoodlums assaulted the Ede South Local Government Area office and set some of it on fire in the early hours of Thursday at Iyana Mortuary in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State.
Festus Okoye, Chairman of Voters’ Education and National Commissioner of INEC, said in a statement that the use of hate speech and attacks on political opponents by some politicians since the start of the campaign less than two months ago were deeply unsettling.
In Maiduguri, there was an attack on the PDP presidential campaign event, resulting in the destruction of many vehicles and injuries to people.
The PDP presidential campaign was attacked three weeks ago in Kaduna as well.
Okoye claimed that as a result, the Commission decided to call an urgent meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) to talk about the troubling pattern.
Additionally, Okoye reported that two of its local government offices in the states of Ogun and Osun had been targeted.
904 ballot boxes, 29 polling booths, 30 megaphones, 57 election bags, eight electricity generators, and 65,699 uncollected Permanent Voters Cards were among the goods he mentioned as having been destroyed (PVCs).
About eight alleged hoodlums gained access to the property by scaling the surrounding fence and lit the INEC building on fire from behind.
They allegedly drenched bread loaves in gasoline before throwing them into the structure at various angles to light the electoral body headquarters.
Around 1:00 am, Azeez Hamzat, the facility’s security guard, allegedly called the police in a panic to let them know about the occurrence.
According to reports, the police from the Ibara division called for firefighters to rush to the area to put out the fire while also mobilizing investigators to the scene.
The conference room and the office of the Registration Area Officer were both impacted by the blaze.
According to a source, the fire also damaged non-sensitive materials.
Okoye went on to say that Dr. Mutiu Agboke, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Osun State, reported that the INEC office in Ede South Local Government Area had been attacked and set on fire.
He claims that the event happened early on Thursday when some unidentified people stormed the structure and partially set it on fire.
He noted that fortunately, “the damage to our Ede South Local Government was limited to a section of the structure, and only a few furniture pieces were damaged.
Okoye also stated that the Commission authorized the procedure for the exercise and debated on the upcoming presentation of the whole national voter register for claims and objections by residents as required by law.
Additionally, he added, “the whole preliminary register including 93,522,272 registrants will be published, as previously indicated by the Commission. The exercise will take place from November 12–25, 2022, for two weeks.
The incident has been confirmed by Niyi Ijalaye, the Ogun INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, who called it alarming.