Gunmen yesterday attacked the ‘B’ Division Police Station and the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Awka, Anambra State.
A source said the gunmen first moved to INEC headquarters in the state, but were repelled by security men on duty, before they moved to ‘B’ division.
INEC’s assets, including office buildings, has been under attack in the South-east, prompting the commission to plan a meeting with security chiefs to consider ways to end the incident.
However, the meeting, slated for today in Abuja, has been shifted to a later date following last Friday’s plane crash in Kaduna that claimed the lives of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 other officers and military personnel.
As at press time, there was heavy shooting by the gunmen in Awka, causing fear among residents who scampered to safety.
Meanwhile, at Ifite area and Nnamdi Azikiwe University area, gunmen suspected to be armed robbers also last night ransacked hostels and residential buildings, dispossessing the occupants of their belongings.
Details of the attack were not yet clear, but a source said the area had been cordoned off.
The state police commands spokesperson, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga,a Deputy Superintendent of Police, could not be reached as text messages sent to him were not replied.
INEC Postpones Meeting with Security Chiefs
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has put off its planned meeting with security chiefs.
In an apparent move to honour the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and other military officers who lost their lives in the the military plane crash.
The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, said in a statement that the emergency meeting of INEC and security chiefs, earlier scheduled for today, had been postponed.
The statement added that a new date would be announced later.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at a meeting with the 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) last week in Abuja, had said an emergency meeting of the commission would take place today to find solutions to the rampant burning of INEC offices across the states.
As of the last count, 21 offices of the commission have been gutted by fire in the last two years.
A breakdown of the fire incidents showed that the most affected states include: Akwa Ibom (four), Abia (three) Anambra (two) and Imo (two).
Other states that witnessed fire incidents between February 2019 and May 2021 are Borno, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Kano, Ondo, Plateau and Rivers
Abuja was also affected.
While 11 offices were burnt down by hoodlums, eight others were gutted by fire under mysterious circumstances or by electrical fault.
In all cases, however, no one has been prosecuted for the vandalism and arson.
Yakubu had raised the alarm that the continuous burning of the commission’s offices and property across some states of the federation constituted a threat to the 2023 general election.