Independent National Electoral Commission says its offices and facilities across the country have been attacked 41 times in the past two years.
INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja during an emergency meeting with security agencies under the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security.
Yakubu said nine of the incidents occurred in 2019 while it worsened in 2020 with 21 incidents recorded.
The INEC boss said, “In the last four weeks, 11 offices of the commission were either set ablaze or vandalized.
“Two of these incidents were caused by Boko Haram and bandits’ attacks while 10 resulted from thuggery during the election and post-election violence.”
But Yakubu said 29 out of the 41 attacks on INEC offices were not related to election or electoral activities.
He said 18 of the attacks occurred during the #EndSARS protests in October 2020 while 11 attacks were organised by “unknown gunmen” and “hoodlums”.
The ICCES emergency meeting, which was originally scheduled for last Monday, was rescheduled following the sudden death of the former Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, who was a member of the ICCES.
5,346 officials to be deployed
Meanwhile, Yakubu said that the commission would create 2,673 registration centres and deploy 5,346 officials for the exercise along with expensive voter enrollment machines.
The INEC boss said that this was for the Continuous Voter Registration exercise scheduled for June 28, 2021 to enable Nigerians who have attained 18 years and those who did not register previously to do so.
He added that in the next nine months, two major elections will be conducted, including the Anambra State Governorship election scheduled for 6 November 2021 and the end-of-tenure elections for 68 Area Council constituencies in the FCT holding on 12 February 2022.
He said, “These major elections will be followed by the Ekiti and Osun State governorship elections ahead of the 2023 General Election which is just 632 days away.
“Similarly, registered voters who wish to change their voting locations and those who wish to correct their names and other details on their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) can do so.
“All these activities require security, thereby adding to the urgency and importance of this meeting.”
National Security Adviser and Co-Chairman of ICCES, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd), and the Acting Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman, in separate comments promised to take decisive actions to stop the attacks and prevent future occurrences.