By Biodun Busari
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured the Nigerian electorate that Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines were not kept in the facilities recently attacked and burnt by political thugs.
INEC also said other sensitive materials that would be used in conducting the 2023 general elections are secure and safe.
This was made known by the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of the Committee on Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Festus Okoye during Channels Television’s Roadmap 2023 on Sunday.
Okoye reiterated that the country’s next year’s general elections would be conducted despite attacks on its facilities.
The nation’s electoral body had lamented the spate of attacks by hoodlums, putting the number of affected offices at 50, across 21 states.
But while speaking yesterday, Okoye, said sensitive materials to be deployed for next year’s polls were not in the facilities recently attacked.
“I just want to assure the nation that our sensitive materials are not in any of these places where these attacks have occurred.
“We have secured the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and other sensitive materials that will be used in the conduct of this election. Those materials are not in any of these facilities that are being attacked,” Okoye said.
According to Okoye, the electoral umpire is working assiduously with security operatives to prevent a repeat of attacks on its facilities.
He also said security has been beefed up in INEC offices across the 36 states of the federation and Abuja stressing that security agencies are also protecting strategic INEC offices in local councils in the states.
The INEC chief explained that the commission would replace damaged equipment as soon as possible following the attacks.
He, however, added, “As we move closer to the election, if these attacks persist, it may be difficult for us to replace some of the materials that have been damaged.
“That is why we want to get these offices secured and prevent some of these attacks. This commission is resolved and determined to proceed with electoral business because that is what the Nigerian people want and expect us to do.”
INEC said this in reaction to the confirmation of another attack launched at the commission’s office in Oru West Council, Imo State, on Sunday.
The incident affected the conference room where office furniture and fittings were destroyed.