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Enugu: Gunmen attack INEC officials, halts voter registration

Gunmen attacked officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Enugu State’s Igboeze North Local Government Area, causing voter registration to be suspended in the affected areas.

The attack resulted in the loss of two voter registration machines as well as personal items belonging to the staff, such as mobile phones.

Festus Okoye, Chairman of INEC’s Information and Voter Education Committee, confirmed the attack in a statement issued on Thursday.

He said electoral officials were involved in the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise before gunmen stormed the Community Primary School Umuopu in Umuozzi Ward 19 in the South-Eastern state.

After the Administrative Secretary in Enugu State, Mr. Jude Okwuonu reported the incident to INEC Headquarters, the commission decided to suspend the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise in the affected area.

“The gunmen fired sporadically into the air to disperse registrants and registration officials. In the ensuing stampede, one of our staff sustained injuries and is receiving treatment in a hospital,” the statement read.

“Two voter registration machines and personal items of the staff such as mobile phones were lost. Consequently, Ward level registration of voters in Igboeze North is hereby suspended.”

According to Okoye, the commission has reported the incident to police authorities in Enugu State to commence an investigation.

Attacks on INEC facilities have been frequent in the South-East as the nation prepares for the general elections in seven months’ time.

On July 3, arsonists attacked the INEC office in Ogboeze North Local Government Area and burnt down the facility.

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