The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated its resolve to ensure a hitch-free exercise in the upcoming Anambra elections despite multiple attacks on its facilities.
In May, Ripples Nigeria had reported that gunmen attacked an office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Awka, Anambra state.
The armed attackers who came in three Hilux trucks damaged the INEC office located at Secretariat Road in Awka.
However, in his statement on Tuesday during the emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu slammed nefarious persons whose intention is to scuttle the electoral process.
Yakubu said, “From the reports, we have received, the stated goal of many of the attackers is that the Governorship election scheduled for 6th November 2021 must not hold.
“This is worrisome for the Commission. We are deeply concerned that specific electoral facilities and materials could once more become targets of attack. Recall that in May this year, our State Office at Awka was attacked and all the non-sensitive materials assembled for the election at the time were destroyed.
“In addition, our store, collation centre and the main office building were either totally or substantially damaged. The Commission also lost several vehicles to be used for the election.
“Happily, we have almost fully recovered from that attack. The destroyed buildings have either been completely repaired or are nearing completion and we have fully replaced the materials destroyed.
“This rapid recovery has only been possible because this is an off-season election. We have sourced some of these materials such as the 326 electric generators and vehicles destroyed in the attack from neighbouring states.
“However, should we again lose vital materials and facilities, the ongoing preparations will be adversely affected”.
The INEC Chairman, nevertheless, assured the residents of Anambra that the election will proceed on schedule while security measures are being planned to prevent any breakdown in law and order.
He added: “We wish to assure the people of Anambra State that the Commission is determined to proceed with the election as scheduled. To underscore this determination, the Commission is implementing two more activities on the timetable for the election in the next few days.
“The register of voters will be presented to political parties in Awka on Thursday 7th October 2021. On the same day, the Commission will publish the final list of candidates for the election.
“We are confident that at the end of this meeting, we will firm up on specific measures necessary to further guarantee the safety of all persons involved in the election from the voters, election officials, observers, media organisations, and the security of election materials”.