The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC office, in Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area and the ancestral headquarters of the Ogoni people of Rivers state has been set ablaze by unknown persons.
This is coming barely seven days to the July 30 re-run election in the State. Sources say the fire started in the early hours of Friday morning, although the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
Eyewitness reports say the INEC office has been substantially damaged by the inferno and the whole building set ablaze. The Rivers State Police command Public Relations Spokesperson, Omoni Nnamdi, has also confirmed the incident.
The area which is key to the re-run election for Rivers East senatorial district scheduled for next Saturday, has seen INEC cancel the first re-run election on March 11, due to outbreak of violence.
INEC had insisted that it would only conduct the suspended re-run election if the leaders, supporters and the political parties contesting the election were ready to shun violence.
Meanwhile, ahead of Saturday’s re-run Senatorial elections in Imo North Senatorial District and Kogi East Senatorial District of Imo and Kogi States respectively, the Inspector-General of Police, Ag. IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, has directed the Commissioners of Police in Imo and Kogi States to ensure proper coordination of security operations and adequate deployment of Police personnel.
In a statement on Friday, Force PRO, DCP Don Awunah, said the security arrangements put in place will also cover the Houses of Assembly re-run elections taking place on the same date in the two States.
He noted that as part of the measures aimed at guaranteeing a hitch-free and credible election, IGP Idris has approved the deployment of additional Police Mobile Force personnel, Counter Terrorism Units and Conventional Policemen from the states, to all identifiable flash/vulnerable points, and other strategic locations within the Senatorial Districts where the re-run elections will take place.