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‘1,100 ballot boxes, 429 generators, 13 vehicles’ — INEC counts losses in 41 attacks

  The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says its offices across 14 states have been attacked 41 times since the 2019 general ...

 


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says its offices across 14 states have been attacked 41 times since the 2019 general elections.

 

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said some of the assets lost in the attacks include 1,105 ballot boxes, 429 generator sets and 13 vehicles.

 

Yakubu revealed this while speaking at an emergency meeting with security agencies convened under the inter-agency consultative committee on election security in Abuja on Thursday.

 

Incessant attacks on the commission’s offices — particularly in southern parts of the country — could endanger the 2023 general elections.

 

Yakubu said the attacks are a “major threat” to INEC’s scheduled activities as they have become “more frequent and systematic targeted at demobilising and dismantling critical electoral infrastructure.”

 

He said: “In the last two years, the commission has recorded a total of 41 incidents involving deliberate attacks on the Commission’s facilities. Nine of these incidents happened in 2019 and 21 cases in 2020.

 

“In the last four weeks, 11 offices of the commission were either set ablaze or vandalised. Two of these incidents were caused by Boko Haram and Bandit attacks while 10 resulted from thuggery during election and post-election violence. However, the majority of the attacks (29 out of 41) were unrelated to election or electoral activities.

 

 “In fact, 18 of them occurred during the EndSARS protests in October last year while 11 attacks were organised by ‘unknown gunmen’ and ‘hoodlums’.

 

” Although the commission is assessing the loss of materials during recent attacks, our preliminary assessment so far indicate that we lost 1,105 ballot boxes, 694 voting cubicles, 429 electric generating sets and 13 utility vehicles (Toyota Hilux).”

 

He added that the electoral umpire hopes to work with the security agencies to forestall the attacks which “should now be treated as a national security emergency.”

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