From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Reacting to the incessant destruction of offices belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), especially in the South East, an election observer group, Centre for Transparency Advocacy, has warned that the acts could affect the November 6th Anambra State governorship poll.
The Centre’s Executive Director, Faith Nwadishi, in a statement on Tuesday, called on security agencies to hunt down the culprits, while locals should protect government’s facilities from vandals.
‘The Centre for Transparency Advocacy is alarmed at the rate INEC offices are attacked across the country particularly in the South East with devastating effects,’ Nwadishi said in the statement.
‘This is a dangerous trend if not checked will impede the process of organizing the November 6 Anambra State Governorship Election.
‘This coordinated attacks in recent times have affected three states in the South East in particular.
‘The INEC office in Ahiazu Mbaise LGA in Imo State was razed by unknown men, followed by the burning of the Igboeze LGA office in Enugu State.
‘Not enough for the perpetrators, they stormed Udenu office on May 16, 2021 and sustained their dishonorable act with the attack on the INEC headquarters in Enugu where vehicles were burnt and offices ransacked.
‘On Sunday night, May 23, 2021, the INEC headquarters in Awka, Anambra State, was invaded and set on fire.
‘It appears that these dastard events are targeted at truncating and sabotaging the forthcoming Anambra Election. This has to stop now. A stitch in time saves nine.
‘We call on the citizens across the country especially, South East to protect INEC properties in their domain. The only way to effect a credible change is through the ballot.
‘The people can only succeed by coming out to vote for credible candidates of their choice and this can only be achieved in a peaceful atmosphere and not in chaos.
‘We support INEC’s call for the federal government to declare a security emergency and define a definite strategy to protect INEC’s properties and personnel not only in the South East but across the nation.
‘Finally, we call on all stakeholders to support INEC in this onerous but important national task.
‘Equally, the National Orientation Agency and Civil Society Organisations should up efforts to educate the citizens on the importance of supporting INEC by way of protecting INEC offices and personnel thereby sustaining the democratic process and good governance in Nigeria.’