By: Our Correspondent
UYO, South-South, Nigeria – Barely 24hours to the gubernatorial elections, suspected hoodlums of the All Progressive Congress (APC), at \nabout 3.am on Friday, set ablaze office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Mike Igini, who was on ground to confirm the incident, said “there is no going on the March 9 election. Election will hold as scheduled, no matter the plot.”
Investigations revealed that over 160 Card Readers out of 190 provided for the area were burnt including 12 brand-new generators, computer sets and other office equipment.
The Electoral Officer, (EO), Mr. Victor Inyang, confirmed to our Reporter that “no Ballot Papers was destroyed by the fire. They thought the election materials were kept in the store. So, they went there first.”
An eyewitness Mr. Edidiong Inyang, who spoke to our Reporter, said the fire was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device, (IED), planted in the store section of the office.
According to him, he alleged that the perpetrators were youths brought in from Edo State and camped at Tranquility Hotel for the past three days.
“Five days ago we were tipped off that APC thugs and hoodlums were camped at Tranquility Hotel. We went there and confirmed it after which we got the Divisional Police Officer, (DPO), in charge of Ibesikpo Asutan informed.
“Arrests were made immediately. But unfortunately, the DPO was transferred out of the area for making the arrests. A new DPO came and effect release of the hoodlums and thugs of the APC based on an order-from-above. They were released two days ago. Now see what they have done,” he said.