Nigeria reports fresh attack on election office in southeast ​

(Photo: AFP)


LAGOS, Nigeria — A local office of Nigeria’s electoral body INEC has been set partially ablaze, the commission said Friday, the latest violence less than three months ahead of next year’s presidential ballot.


Nigerians in February will elect a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari, who is stepping down after two terms in office.


Concerns have grown over recent attacks on the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), particularly in the southeast.


INEC spokesman Festus Okoye said the commission’s office for Orlu area in Imo state was attacked.


He said the incident occurred on Thursday when the building, which was under repair following an earlier attack, was vandalized and partially set ablaze.


“This is one attack too many. The commission once again expresses its concern over the spate of attacks on its facilities,” Okoye said.


Thursday’s incident came less than a week after an INEC office and voting materials were torched in Ebonyi state.


INEC has recently warned of the threat of intensifying campaign violence ahead of the election, adding that it had tracked at least 50 attacks in the last two months.


Parliamentary and state elections will also be held in February.


Although no group claimed responsibility for the attack, southeast Nigeria has seen scores of assaults blamed on the outlawed separatists, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group or its armed wing, the Eastern Security Network.


IPOB, which seeks a separate state for ethnic Igbo people in the southeast, has repeatedly denied responsibility for the violence.


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