By Omabe Amarachi
Gunmen, Sunday night, attacked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, office in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State, killing a police officer, and injuring another.
INEC National Commissioner, Mr Festus Okoye, who disclosed this in a statement, yesterday, said: “The Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, for Enugu State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwu, has reported that our office in Enugu South LGA was attacked by gunmen. The incident occurred around 9.12 p.m., January 15, 2023.
“The security gatehouse was razed. Fortunately, the attackers could not gain access to the main building as a result of the rapid response from the police and army personnel from the 82 Division.
“The state Commissioner of Police and the REC were personally at the scene immediately after they received information about the attack. Of the two policemen deployed to protect the facility, one of them lost his life while the other sustained injuries and is receiving treatment.”
He said the incident was under investigation by security agencies, adding that the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, ICCES, in Enugu State, co-chaired by the REC and the Commissioner of Police, has been convened to discuss the latest incident and map out strategies to better protect INEC offices, personnel, and materials.
“Meanwhile, the destroyed gatehouse will be rebuilt, and the commission is proceeding with its preparations for the general election in Enugu State and the entire country as scheduled,” Okoye noted.
The incident is the latest in the series of assaults on INEC offices in the South-East.
However, a source from the village told our correspondent that they quickly called the men of Fire Service, who arrived on time but could not go near the premises to extinguish the fire as a result of the dead body they sited around.
According to the source,“the building would not have been razed totally because we called the fire service men. But they were afraid of going inside because of the person that was shot dead.
“Everybody was really afraid. They felt the guys (gunmen) were still around. But we knew that the gunmen had left.”