INEC suffered 50 attacks on its offices nationwide – official

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Abuja, Jan. 18, 2023 – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has suffered 50 attacks on its offices across the country between 2019 and 2022.

It said 11 of these attacks were in Imo State alone.

Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, said this at a virtual meeting organised by the International Press Centre with support from the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria.

The meeting was held to enhance capacity of journalists on conflict-sensitive reporting ahead of the general elections.

“Between 2019 and last year (2022), we had 50 unprovoked attacks on our offices and we lost many staff members.

“In 2020, we had 22 unprovoked attacks, in 2021 there were 12 attacks and in 2022, there were eight attacks.

“The attacks were spread across Osun, Ogun, Lagos, Ondo, Bayelsa, Abia, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Anambra Ebonyi, Kaduna, Taraba, and Borno States.

“Of all these states, we had 11 attacks in Imo,” he said.

Oyekanmi said the commission relied on the collaboration of the media to succeed in the elections.

He said that 18 political parties were fielding 15,333 candidates for all the elections in about 1,491 constituencies where elections will be conducted in the February 2023 elections.

Oyekanmi said INEC had 93.4698 million registered voters in a total of 176,846 polling units nationwide.

He said that the commission was not interested in ethnic or religious background of registrants, but in strengthening democracy.

“When you begin to introduce religion and ethnicity, you put INEC staff members in a difficult situation.

“When you report facts, it helps the commission, but when you don’t report right, it could endanger the lives of our staff members,” he said. (GBN)

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