Gunmen attack INEC headquarters in Imo, as police kill 3

Gunmen attack INEC headquarters in Imo, as police kill 3

By Peter Okolie, Owerri.


Gunmen on Monday attacked the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Owerri and set part of the office complex and some vehicles in the compound ablaze.


It was gathered that the incident occurred in the early hours of Monday.


It was further learnt that three of the suspected gunmen were gunned down by the police on duty, while two others were arrested.


Gov. Hope Uzodimma ,of Imo, who visited the scene, bemoaned the attack, saying that it was “politically motivated”.


Uzodimma said: “What is happening in Imo is politically contrived.


“There’re some people, who think they can win election, yet don’t want election, how will they then win?


“INEC does not need this distraction at this point and stage of our elections.


“INEC should be supported by all and sundry but contrary to that, we see people creating distractions here and there by attacking innocent people.


“Why INEC?”


The governor commended the police for resisting the assailants.


According to him, this is a demonstration of the preparedness of the police for the 2023 general elections.


Uzodimma also assured residents of a peaceful Christmas celebration, in spite of the distractions.


“I urge the people of the state to turn out to collect their Permanent Voter Cards because the card is key to the elections we are looking forward to.


“If you don’t have your voter card, you will not be able to vote,” he said.


Also, the Commissioner of Police in Imo, Mr Mohammed Barde, said that the gunmen were repelled by a reinforced police team, who were on patrol.


“Immediately they got to Control Roundabout, the gunmen threw dynamite into our vehicle and were able to kill two of our men,” he said.


Barde also said that the gunmen also threw petrol bombs and dynamites into the INEC Office, which razed part of the buildings.


“But because of the firing power from my men, the gunmen were unable to escape with one of their Lexus Jeeps.


“We gave them a hot chase and were able to neutralise three of them,” he said.


The police commissioner said that three AK47 rifles, three pump-action guns, with some of the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and four of the assailants’ vehicles were seized by his men.


“We were also able to arrest two of them with bullet wounds,” he added.


The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Imo, Mrs Silvia Agu, said that parts of the Media Unit, Election and Political Party Monitoring and Liaison Office, Accounts Office, as well as some vehicles and window glasses were destroyed.


Agu vowed that the attack would not deter the commission from conducting credible elections in the state.


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