The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Thursday said it recorded a total of 41 incidents involving deliberate attacks on the commission’s facilities in the last two years.
Although the commission said it was still assessing its losses during recent attacks, it noted that “preliminary assessment so far indicates that the commission lost 1,105 ballot boxes, 694 voting cubicles, 429 electricity generating sets and 13 utility vehicles (Toyota Hilux).”
INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who stated this at an emergency meeting with the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), said 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,” said the INEC boss, adding that “two of the incidents were caused by Boko Haram and bandits’ attacks while 10 resulted from thuggery during election and post-election violence.”
He noted that “29 out of the 41 attacks were unrelated to elections or electoral activities,” stressing that “18 of the attacks occurred during the EndSARS protest in October last year while 11 were organised by unknown “gunmen” and “hoodlums.”
The INEC boss said by working together with security agencies, the commission would stem the tide of attacks and wanton destruction of critical electoral assets.
He acknowledged support to the commission from some of the communities across the country, saying among other things, “they have donated land to locate many of the commission’s facilities as well as provided voluntary assistance during electoral activities like registration of voters and even donated materials, such as chairs and shelter during elections.”
He further stated that some of the communities offered to rebuild INEC offices and to help protect them going forward