Following an attack on its officials by unknown gunmen on Wednesday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the ongoing voter registration exercise in Igboeze North Local Council of Enugu State.
The incidence occurred at the Community Primary School, Umuopu, in Umuozzi Ward 19 of the council. INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, disclosed this in a statement, yesterday, in Abuja.
This comes days after the commission’s office in the same council was set ablaze by hoodlums. Although no casualties were reported, 748 ballot boxes, 240 voting cubicles, office furniture and equipment were destroyed.
According to Okoye, during the recent attack on Wednesday, gunmen fired sporadically into the air to disperse registrants and registration officials. He said one of its staff sustained injuries and is currently receiving treatment in an unnamed hospital.
The statement reads: “In spite of the attack, the commission was able to continue ward level registration with the assistance of vigilantes provided by the local council authority. It is one of the centres that was attacked.
‘’The administrative secretary in Enugu, Mr. Jude Okwuonu, reported that at about 02:30 pm on Wednesday July 13, 2023, our officials involved in the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise were attacked by unknown gunmen in Community Primary School Umuopu in Umuozzi Ward 19 of Igboeze North Local Council.’’
Okoye noted that two voter registration machines and personal items of its staff such as mobile phones were lost in the attack.
“The incident has been reported to the police for investigation,” he added.