The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu on Wednesday assured Nigerians that the electoral umpire will recover from the recent attacks on its facilities ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Mahmood Yakubu Assures Nigerians INEC Will Recover From Recent Attacks
Yakubu stated this at the induction retreat for resident electoral commissioners held in Lagos.
He said, “Our responsibility is to conduct elections. I want to assure Nigerians that we will recover from these attacks.
“The lost materials will be replaced but there is a limit to our ability to keep replacing lost or damaged items in just 86 days to the general elections.”
It is understood that within the space of three weeks, three attacks were carried out on INEC local government facilities in Ogun, Osun, and Ebonyi states, with the latest occurring on Sunday.
INEC had two weeks ago lamented the spate of attacks on its offices, putting the number of INEC offices attacked by hoodlums at 50. The attacks were recorded in 21 states.
To forestall a reoccurrence of these attacks, Yakubu said the commission will work closely with security agencies and traditional rulers.
The INEC boss called for the arrest and prosecution of the culprits, “so that vandals and arsonists don’t feel that behaviour is acceptable in our country”.
“Five local government offices of the commission were attacked by yet unknown persons. Buildings are being destroyed, critical facilities lost,” he added.
“These facilities include a total of 1,992 ballot boxes, 399 voting cubicles, and 22 electric-powered generators as well as thousands of uncollected PVCs. These attacks must stop and the perpetrators apprehended and prosecuted.”
Speaking on Sunday’s attack in Ebonyi State, the INEC boss described the situation as regrettable because the arsonists struck two days after electoral officials relocated to its office in the South-Eastern state.
He also decried what he called misleading information in circulation about the possibility of voting without a Permanent Voter’s Card.
According to him, the position of the law is clear and no one without a PVC will be allowed to vote.
In a related development, Kanyi Daily reported that former Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of INEC, Mike Igini also assured that the attacks on the offices of the electoral body can not stop the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
He also said the electoral commission will reproduce all Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) burnt by hoodlums during attacks on its offices.