From Ndubuisi Orji, Chukwudi Nweje, Aloysius Attah, Obinna Odogwu, Jeff Agbodo and Mokwugwo Solomon
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said that gunmen threw a spanner in its works when it attacked its state headquarters in Awka, Anambra State capital recently.
National Commissioner and Chairman Information, Voter Education and Publicity Committee of the commission, Festus Okoye, said that the gunmen constituted themselves as a clog in their wheel of progress in the preparation for the governorship poll when it set their office ablaze.
Okoye said that some of the non-sensitive materials pre-delivered by the commission to the state headquarters were razed in the inferno, leaving the commission struggling to replenish them.
He said: “The commission places utmost importance in planning and keeping to timelines for the conduct of elections. On the basis of this, the commission pre-delivered over 50% of the non-sensitive materials for the conduct of the election well ahead of time.
“The commission was deeply saddened, therefore, when the premises of its Anambra State Head Office went up in flames not too long ago, destroying buildings, equipment and utility vehicles.
“We have substantially recovered from the inferno as the commission is not permitted to wallow in self-pity in the face of a governorship election whose timeline is constitutionally circumscribed and cast in stone.
“The commission is resolute in its commitment to the delivery of good elections. It is determined, therefore, to ensure that not even the recent ugly incident will undermine the smooth process and delivery of a good governorship election in Anambra come 6th November 2021.”
Sometime in April, daredevil criminals stormed the INEC office with dangerous weapons and burned seven operational vehicles belonging to the commission. While four were completely burnt, three were partially razed.
They also burnt their collation centre, a store housing many generators, and another store serving another purpose after earlier razing the trial room of the Police ‘B’ Division not far from INEC.