The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has decried Rise in violent attacks and use of hate speech since lifting of political campaigns by the Commission.
The complain is coming after the Commission received two disturbing reports of attacks on its Local Government offices in Ogun and Osun States.
According Festus Okoye, National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, recalled that the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Ogun State, Dr. Niyi Ijalaiye, reported that INEC’s office in Abeokuta South Local Government Area was attacked and set ablaze.
The incident occurred around when some unidentified persons overpowered the security personnel on duty and set the entire building ablaze.
The main building and all the Commission’s movable assets in the office were destroyed and they include 904 ballot boxes, 29 voting cubicles, 30 megaphones, 57 election bags, 8 electric power generators and 65,699 uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
Similarly, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Osun State, Dr. Mutiu Agboke, reported that the office in Ede South Local Government Area was attacked and set ablaze.
The incident occurred when some unidentified persons attacked the building and set a portion of it ablaze.
Fortunately, the damage to Ede South Local Government was limited to a section of the building and only some furniture items were destroyed.
Okoye, said the attention of the Nigeria Police Force and other security and safety agencies has been drawn to the incidents and they have commenced investigation.
With just 106 days to the 2023 General Election when the Commission has commenced the movement of materials to its offices nationwide, these simultaneous attacks are very worrisome indeed, he said.
“Similarly, the rising incidents of attacks on supporters of various political parties since the commencement of campaign barely two months ago and the use of hate and incendiary language by some politicians are extremely disturbing.
“Accordingly, the Commission has convened an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) tomorrow Friday 11th November 2023 to discuss the disturbing trend.” Okoye added.