From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said despite the series of fire incidents on its facilities in the South East, it will conduct the November 6 Anambra State governorship election.
INEC gave the assurance in a statement signed by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.
The electoral umpire said though the inferno that engulfed its Anambra office was devastating, it did not affect the Smart Card Readers, even as it said no life was lost.
INEC met in emergency session, yesterday, as attacks on its facilities in some states of the federation continue unabated.
In the latest incidents, three offices of the commission came under attack in Anambra, Imo and Enugu states.
“These are clearly orchestrated and targeted attacks aimed at incapacitating the commission in conducting electoral activities, especially in Anambra State. The attacks on the commission’s facilities have now become a national emergency. Accordingly, the commission will brief the government and stakeholders on these incidents.
“In spite of these setbacks, the commission is determined to continue to discharge its responsibilities, including the conduct of the scheduled Anambra governorship election.
“State headquarters office in Awka was set ablaze in the most devastating onslaught on the commission’s facilities so far. The attackers were systematic and selective in their targets. The pavilion which serves as solution centre during major elections was burnt. In what is a major blow to our preparations for the governorship election scheduled for November 6, two stores, housing electoral materials, were burnt.
“It will be recalled that following the fire incident on the eve of the 2019 general election, in which the Smart Card Readers for the state were destroyed, the commission moved the replacement Smart Card Readers from the shipping containers to the concrete store for enhanced protection. Fortunately, the Smart Card Readers were not affected,” INEC said.