Election observer group, the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its decision to ahead with elections in affected states where its offices were burnt.
The group in a statement by its acting Executive Director, Faith Nwadishi, while condemning the burning down of the INEC offices, urged the police and other security agencies to step up their alertness, and adequately protect INEC facilities round the clock.
She described the attacks on INEC offices in Anambra, Plateau and Awka as the handiwork of desperate politicians, who are determined to destabilize the General election, by burning down INEC offices and election materials, and instilling fear in Nigerians.
She said, “As the clock ticks closer to the 2019 General Elections, citizens are becoming apprehensive due to the activities of faceless people who are desperate and would wish to instil fear to the citizens and discredit the General Elections. This should worry every compatriot as a peaceful election in Nigeria in the next 72 hours is sacrosanct.”
The CTA boss expressed concern that in less than two weeks, INEC offices has been burnt in Quaanpan LGA of Plateau state, Isiala Ngwa in Abia state and just today, INEC office Awka, Anambra state was gutted by fire with about 10,000 Permanent Voters Cards, 755 ballot boxes, Generators and valuable materials destroyed in the fire.
She said “this emerging trend of burning electoral commissions’ offices is condemnable, unacceptable and should not be tolerated. Unfortunately, it appears no one knows who is responsible for these heinous, criminal acts.
“CTA calls on the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies to step up their alertness, and adequately protect INEC facilities round the clock. INEC staff, domestic and international election observers should equally be protected on the election days.
“We equally call on all the security agencies to see this as an early warning signs of potential violence during the 2019 elections and therefore, should take control of this ugly situation and assure Nigerians of adequate security, before, during and after elections. A thorough investigation should be carried out by the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of this act. The law must and should deal decisively with anyone who is overtly or covertly involved in this criminal act.”