British High Commissioner to Nigeria Catriona Laing has said that the United Kingdom is disturbed by recent reports of attacks on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices.
Laing stated this on Twitter (@CateionaLaing1) while reacting to a press statement by INEC titled ‘INEC Office in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State Set Ablaze.’
In the statement dated November 27, 2022, and signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Festus Okoye, INEC said: “The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Ebonyi State, Mrs Onyeka Pauline Ugochi, reported that our Izzi Local Government Area office located in Iboko, was set ablaze this morning.
“The incident occurred around 10:00 am when some unidentified persons set the entire building ablaze. Although no casualties resulted from the attack, the main building and all the movable and immovable items inside it were destroyed. These include 340 ballot boxes, 130 voting cubicles, 14 electric power generators, large water storage tanks, assorted office furniture and fixtures and yet-to-be-determined quantities of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).
“The attention of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies has been drawn to the incident and have commenced investigation.
“Sadly, this is the third attack on our Local Government office in less than three weeks following similar attacks on our offices in Ogun and Osun States on 10th November 2022.
Laing however said credible and peaceful elections are key to Nigeria’s democratic growth.
“The UK strongly believes that the democratic process should be free from violence, including attacks on state institutions. We are therefore disturbed by recent reports of attacks on INEC’s offices,” Laing said.
The British envoy further said the United Kingdom strongly supports free, fair and peaceful elections in Nigeria and urges everyone involved to abide by the Peace Accord and shun and discourage all forms of violence in the run-up to, during and after the election.
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