INEC OFFICE IN ABIA STATE SET ABLAZE
Chinwe Ugele, Umuahia.
Thousands of uncollected Permanent Voters Cards destroyed.
Hoodlums have set ablaze the office of the Independent National Electoral commission (INEC) in Umuikaa, Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia state.
This LGA office was said to have been burnt down by some unidentified miscreants who perpetrated their act in the wee hours of Sunday.
Even though no life was affected or lost, the hoodlums succeeded in destroying about 15,000 permanent voters’ cards yet to be claimed by their owners.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr.Joseph Iloh who already visited the scene to assess the level of damage confirmed the incident, saying the hoodlums gained access into building and went straight for the room with the PVC’s.
He said that only that section of the office complex was affected but the entire cards numbering about 15000, were completely destroyed in the fire.
He expressed shock at the situation and wondered why anyone would resort to such act with elections just around the corner.
The REC said he has already reported the matter to the police command and hopes that the culprits would be arrested soon.
He also said he has informed INEC headquarters in Abuja on the development, saying there will be a meeting to discuss the way forward after the arson.
The police Public Relations Officer, Geoffery Ogbonna also confirmed to have received the report of the arson.
He said the command has already begun investigations into the cause of the fire and those responsible, adding that no arrests had been made yet.
A similar incident occurred after the 2015 election where voting materials were also lost in an arson at the Obingwa INEC office in the state.
Th fate of the voters whose PVC’s were affected by the fire will be decided by the commission in the coming days .