Hoodlums set ablaze Osun, Ogun INEC offices in night attacks

Hoodlums suspected to be arsonists yesterday set ablaze the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices in Ogun and Osun states.
Hoodlums torch Osun, Ogun INEC offices in night attacks

• Arsonists burn 65,000 PVCs in Ogun
•Commission to display voters’ register from November 12 to 25
•Election umpire urges voters to scrutinise register for infractions

Hoodlums suspected to be arsonists yesterday set ablaze the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices in Ogun and Osun states.

Hoodlums set INEC Ogun, Osun offices on fire | The Hope Newspaper

The fire razed the commission’s offices at the Iyana Mortuary area of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, and the Oke-Iresi area of Ede in Ede South Local Government Area of Osun State.

The Nation learnt that the hoodlums stormed the offices  in the night, scaled the perimeter fence, entered the premises and set the building on fire.

The arsonists were said to have soaked some items in Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), that is, petrol, and threw same into the premises before setting the buildings ablaze

Operatives of the Ogun State command of the Federal Fire Service (FFS) were alerted to the scene to contain the fire.

It was gathered that parts of the building that were severely affected included the store, the Registration Area Officer’s office and the conference room

FFS Public Relations Officer Ayanosiji Oluwasegun said the operatives received distress calls few minutes after 1 a.m yesterday, informing them that the INEC office was on fire.

He said the fire had been put out by operatives without any casualty.

According to a report by The Nation, in the Ede fire incident, the arsonists stormed the commission’s office in the early hours of yesterday with petrol and bread to carry out the heinous crime.

Our correspondent learnt that the hoodlums targeted the main offices of the commission to raze them down and destroy the documents therein.

A resident, simply identified as Taiwo, said: “The prompt intervention by men of the state fire service stopped the inferno from spreading to the hall and other sections of the office.”

Osun State INEC spokesperson, Mrs. Oluwaseun Osimosu, confirmed the incident yesterday.

She said the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Mutiu Agboke, will address reporters today on the incident

The party’s State Chairman Gboyega Famodun, in a statement by his media aide, Kola Olabisi, said: “The nefarious incident is condemnable. Our immediate response is that the police should be allowed to do an in-depth investigation with a view to bringing to book the culprits.”

The spokesperson of Osun State Police Command, Yemisi Opalola, said: “The police are aware of the INEC office fire incident. The Commissioner of Police has ordered a thorough investigation into the matter, please.”

Also, the INEC has advised the electorate to scrutinise the voters’ register and draw its attention to any aspect of registrations found in the document.

The voters’ register will be on display from November 12 to November 25.

In a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, INEC said: “As earlier announced by the commission, the entire preliminary register containing 93,522,272 registrants will be published. The exercise will last for two weeks, from November 12 to November 25, 2022.

“The physical copies of the register will be displayed in all the 8,809 Registration Areas (Wards) and 774 Local Government Areas on polling unit basis nationwide. For the first time, the soft copy of the entire register will also be published on the commission’s website (visit www.inecnigeria.org/display_register and follow the instructions).”

The statement explained that “the register will give the name, picture, date of birth and Voter Identification Number (VIN) of each registered voter”.

It added: “However, for data protection and security reasons, critical information, such as biometric details, residential addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of voters will not be made public on both the physical and soft copies.

“During the display, any person may make a claim that the name of a registered voter has been omitted, make corrections on his/her personal details on the register, raise an objection against the inclusion of any person not qualified to vote or the name of a dead person on the register.

“As the exercise commences on Saturday, November 12, 2022, we appeal to Nigerians to seize the opportunity to scrutinise the register and draw the commission’s attention to any corrections in their personal particulars and any malicious registrations, multiple registrants, non-Nigerians or any other person not qualified to be on the register.

“Detailed clarification on the processes and procedures for the exercise, including relevant forms, can be obtained from the commission’s officials at the points of display at Registration Areas (Wards) and Local Government Areas. The information has also been uploaded to the commission’s website and social media platforms.

“By the provisions of the law, cleaning up the voters’ register is a collective national responsibility. So far, the commission has weeded out ineligible registrants using our Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS). By working together with citizens, we can clean the register further as it is the critical foundation for credible elections.”

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