2023: Election under threat in South-East as attacks on INEC facilities escalate


Ahead of the 2023 general elections next year, there are growing fears that the elections, especially in the South-eastern part of the country, might be under a serious threat.

This is even more as the rate of attacks on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, offices and facilities have become more intense as the general elections draw close.

DAILY POST reported the recent Monday attack on the INEC office in Owerri, Imo State, in which four persons were killed, including a police officer.

The attack followed barely one week after unknown gunmen attacked another INEC office in the same State located at Oru West Local Government Area.

Within the last four months, the commission’s facilities across the country have been attacked for a record eight times.

Although the attacks on the commission’s offices have been occurring across the country, it is evident the INEC has become a prime target of attacks in the South-eastern States, raising fears regarding the forthcoming general elections in the zone.

Most of the attacks on INEC facilities around the South-east have been largely attributed to the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

However, IPOB has repeatedly denied their involvement in the attacks.


Attacks on INEC offices in Enugu State peaked in 2021.

Recall that on May 13 and 23, 2021, the INEC offices in Udenu and Igboeze South LGAs, respectively, were attacked by unknown gunmen/hoodlums, vandalising the commission’s facilities.

Again, in September 2021, the INEC’s office in Awgu Local Government Area of the State was put on fire by unknown persons.

Recently in July 2022, some suspected arsonists also destroyed the commission’s office in the Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of the State.


Early last year, around May 2021, two offices of the INEC were set on fire by unknown gunmen in Ebonyi State. The offices were located in Izzi and Ezza North local government areas of the State, respectively.

Within the same month, the INEC office in Ebonyi LGA office of the State was also razed down by unknown gunmen.

Another attack on the commission’s office in Izzi Local Government Area of the State was recorded in November 2022.


Imo State has largely had its own share of the attacks on the INEC offices across the country.

The Monday attack on the Commission’s State headquarters at Owerri is the third in the last 12 days.

Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State blamed the attack on unpopular politicians who are afraid of losing elections.

The incident followed the earlier attacks on INEC offices at Orlu and Oru West LGA offices on 1st December and 4th December 2022, respectively.

Recall that in May 2021, a building belonging to the INEC was also set ablaze in the State. This excludes the attack at its Ahiazu Mbaise LGA office in the same month.

However, perturbed by the incessant attacks on its offices and facilities across the country, which could harm the conduct of the 2023 general elections, at a meeting with stakeholders in Lagos last week, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC chairman, lamented that the electoral body had lost so many of its facilities.

“In the last four months, five of our offices were attacked, buildings damaged, and materials were destroyed across the country.

“It is worrisome for us because we lost over 1990 ballot boxes, 399 voting cubicles, 24 generators, and quite a number of PVCs (65,699 in one incident), among many other items.

“These attacks must stop and the perpetrators prosecuted. Our responsibility is to conduct elections, and I want to assure Nigerians that we will recover from these attacks and that the lost materials will be replaced.

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