- At least 19 offices belonging to INEC have been gutted by fire in the last two years
- In the year 2021 alone, at least four offices belonging to the nation's electoral body have been attacked and set ablaze
- Some stakeholders are worried that the trend may affect the conduct of the 2023 general elections
Civil society organisation, Yiaga Africa, has expressed worry about the recent 'coordinated and premeditated' attacks on the facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The organisation, in a statement sent to Legit.ng on Saturday, May 22, noted that the attacks are dangerous signs for Nigeria's fragile democracy, warning it will not just affect INEC's preparation for upcoming elections but also diminish citizens' confidence in the electoral process.
The statement which was signed by Yiaga Africa's director of programmes, Cynthia Mbamalu read in part:
“The disturbing trend of attacks on the offices and facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission is not just an act of sabotage to a critical institution established by the Constitution to guarantee democratic leadership in Nigeria but an assault on democracy and credible elections.
“These attacks also pose a potential threat to citizens' right to vote in an election. Yiaga Africa is concerned that, attack on democratic institutions is antithetical to the drive for Electoral Reforms.
“These attacks will most likely have a negative impact on election planning, deployment of personnel and materials, and the overall cost of elections in Nigeria.
“These sad incidents will create a financial burden on INEC and increase the cost on INEC and Nigeria by extension.”
In the year 2021 alone, at least four offices belonging to the nation's electoral body have been attacked and set ablaze, Legit.ng can confirm.
A breakdown of the fire incidents showed that the most affected states include Akwa Ibom (four), Abia (three) Anambra (two), and Imo (two).
In a related development, about a month ago, INEC announced that its data processing centre in Kano state has been gutted by fire.
The electoral body made the announcement via a statement by its spokesman, Festus Okoye, and seen by Legit.ng