Insecurity & Crime

Gunmen attack INEC officials, 2 hospitalised in Enugu

By Charles Onyekwere,Enugu

Unknown gunmen have attacked officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.

During the unfortunate incident, two voter registration machines were damaged leading to the injury of two INEC staff said to have been hospitalised in an undisclosed hospital in the State.

INEC Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, confirmed the attack via a statement issued on Thursday.

He said electoral officials were involved in the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise before gunmen stormed the Community Primary School Umuopu in Umuozzi Ward 19 in the South-Eastern state.

It was gathered that after the Administrative Secretary in Enugu State, Mr Jude Okwuonu reported the incident to INEC Headquarters, the Commission decided to suspend the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise in the affected area.

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“The gunmen fired sporadically into the air to disperse registrants and registration officials. In the ensuing stampede, one of our staff sustained injuries and is receiving treatment in a hospital,” the statement read.

“Two voter registration machines and personal items of the staff such as mobile phones were lost. Consequently, Ward level registration of voters in Igboeze North is hereby suspended,” it added.

According to Okoye, the Commission has reported the incident to the police authorities in Enugu State to commence an investigation.

Attacks on INEC facilities have been frequent in the South-East as the nation prepares for the general elections in seven months.

On July 3, arsonists attacked the INEC office in Igboeze North Local Government Area and burnt down the facility.

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