THE Akwa Ibom office of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), located at Essien Udim Local Government Area, has been set ablaze.
This is contained in a statement signed by INEC Chairman of Information and Voter Education Festus Okoye on Sunday.
Okoye said the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State Mike Igini reported the incident to the headquarters, stating that electoral items were destroyed.
He said property of the commission was extensively destroyed by the fire.
“Items destroyed include 345 ballot boxes, 135 voting cubicles, megaphones, water tanks and office furniture,” the statement read.
The INEC stated that on the eve of the 2019 general elections, its newly constructed prototype LGA office in Ibesikpo Asutan was burnt down while two more offices in Mkpat Enin and Eastern Obolo LGAS were bombed.
The commission noted that the recent attack on its facility might affect its readiness for the 2023 general election and also constitute a setback on preparations, including on the ongoing conversion of voting points to polling units, the forthcoming continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise and the conduct of polls.
Okoye further noted that the incident had been reported to the Akwa-Ibom State Police Command and investigations had commenced into apprehending the perpetrators.
Recently, the INEC office in Orlu, Imo State was also set on fire by thugs in the community.