Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says attacks on its offices are a “major threat” to the commission’s scheduled activities, as they have become “more frequent and systematic aimed at demobilizing and dismantling critical electoral infrastructure. “. According to the country’s electoral commission, 14 Nigerian states have been attacked 41 times since the 2019 general elections.
INEC President Mahmood Yakubu, speaking at an emergency meeting with security agencies convened under the interagency advisory committee on electoral security in the nation’s capital, Abuja, said that some of the assets lost in the attacks include 1,105 ballot boxes. , 429 generators. and 13 vehicles.
“In the last two years, the commission has recorded a total of 41 incidents related to deliberate attacks on the Commission’s facilities. Nine of these incidents occurred in 2019 and 21 cases in 2020, ”Yakubu said.
“In the last four weeks, 11 commission offices were burned or destroyed. Two of these incidents were caused by attacks by Boko Haram and Bandit, while ten were the result of violence during elections and post-election violence. However, most of the attacks (29 out of 41) were not related to elections or electoral activities.
“In fact, 18 of them occurred during the EndSARS protests in October last year, while 11 attacks were organized by ‘unknown gunmen’ and ‘thugs.’
“Although the commission is assessing the loss of materials during the recent attacks, our preliminary assessment so far indicates that we lost 1,105 ballot boxes, 694 voting booths, 429 generator sets, and 13 utility vehicles (Toyota Hilux).”
According to him, the electoral commission believes that collaboration with security agencies will prevent such attacks that “should now be treated as a national security emergency.”