The Police Commissioner in Enugu State, Abubakar Lawal, has ordered an investigation into the attack at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Enugu state, southeastern Nigeria.
Suspected arsonists on Sunday raided the commission’s office in Ogurute, Enugu Ezike, a community in North Igbo-Eze Local Government Area, destroying 748 ballot boxes and 240 polling booths, among others.
Police spokesman in the state, Daniel Ndukwe, revealed this in a statement on Monday.
He said police officers put out the fire with the help of Enugu State Fire Service personnel from the Nsukka office.
“In the meantime, the area has been cordoned off for preservation and other investigative actions,” he said.
State Police Commissioner Lawal promised to unravel the cause of the incident and take “necessary measures”, Ndukwe said.
Lawal called on area residents to support police with “credible information” in the ongoing investigation to locate the suspects.
Increase in attacks
Like other states in southeastern Nigeria, Enugu state has seen a rise in deadly attacks lately.
Attacks have become frequent in the Igbo-Eze North and Igbo-Eze South council areas of the state in recent times.
Biker and motorcyclist associations in the two council areas have ordered their members not to operate from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
They also ordered all Keke and Okada operators to withdraw their services in the Aguibeje and Iyionu communities in the Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area, effective June 7, 2022, until further notice and requested the agencies of state security that enforce the resolutions of the associations. .
Two policemen were killed last month in the community of Mkpamte, Igbo-Eze North.
Also last month, arsonists, believed to be enforcing the illegal sit-at-home order in the southeast, vandalized a cement truck in the Nsukka local government area of the state, near the two council areas where attacks have been common.
Again, in mid-June, a police officer was killed when gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in Ibagwa-Ani, a community in the Nsukka council area of the state.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi recently banned motorcycle and tricycle operations in some local government areas of the state to control frequent attacks in the area.
The government later lifted the ban following public outcry and assurances from transport operator leaders to help the government end the attacks.
Ugwuanyi also declared a 12-hour curfew in two council areas to control rising insecurity, but attacks have persisted in the areas.
The attacks, mostly targeting security officials and government facilities, have been blamed on illegal Biafran Indigenous People (IPOB) which fights for the creation of a sovereign state for the Igbo-speaking people in the southeast. The group has denied the result.
IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu is detained in Abuja, where he is on trial for terrorism.