Ebun Francis| Attacks on some of its offices in the country are affecting early preparations for the 2023 general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said on Monday.
INEC’s spokesman, Festus Okoye, who made the disclosure in an interview with Channels Television programme, Politics Today, said the attacks are making a negative impact on the commission’s activities.
According to him, the commission has lost sensitive and non-sensitive materials, including generators and card readers.
“In relation to some of these attacks and their implications, you know at the local government level, the electoral officers serve more or less as managing-directors of our elections,” Okoye said.
“We do not conduct elections at our INEC headquarters. It is at the base level that these elections are conducted. You also know that we just finished verification relating to expansion of voters’ access to the polling units. It was at the various local government offices that these were coordinated. They coordinated the geo-referencing of the old and new polling units.
“If you attack our local government offices, you are attacking our capacity and capability of conducting elections.
“So, when you displace the commission, the implication is that the commission may have to go and look for a rented house, and when the commission goes to look for a rented office, you don’t know the political disposition and inclination of the landlords of that office. You may just come out on election day and find out that your offices are locked and there’s absolutely nothing you will do about it.
“We are worried that our preparations are being distracted and distorted. We are also worried because some of our officers are now living in fear in relation to what is going on.
“There is no doubt whatsoever that what is going on is unacceptable, and it’s going to divert the attention of the commission from early preparations for the 2023 elections and for the off season elections that we’re organising.”
Some INEC offices have in recent times, witnessed a spate of attacks, leading to the destruction of some sensitive and non-sensitive materials.