About two days after uncovering plans by hoodlums and political thugs to burn down facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission in six Local Government Areas, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on Sunday directed all the 17 Transition Council Chairmen to protect all facilities of the commission within their Local Government Areas.
He also said their Deputies should partake in the directive by “liaising with security agencies, local vigilante services, traditional rulers and youths.”
The Abia State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, had on Friday raised the alarm over plans by hired political thugs to burn down the facilities of INEC in six LGAs of Obingwa, Ugwunagbo, Isiala Ngwa South, Ukwa East, Ukwa West and Osisioma.
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INEC offices had been burnt down by suspected hoodlums in Isiala Ngwa North LGA of Abia State, Q’u an’ pan LGA in Plateau State and another state before the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.
But Governor Ikpeazu, in a statement issued in Abuja by his Chief Press Secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos, said the 17 chairmen “are also to ensure that the March 9 election is peaceful before, during and after the exercise.”
“This directive is sequel to intelligence reports received by the state government that desperate unscrupulous politicians are advanced in their plot to import hoodlums from outside the state to disrupt the coming elections for their selfish reasons”, Appolos emphasized
Kalu had called on all those involved in the dastardly plot to desist from such nefarious activities.
He had urged Abia youths not to allow themselves be used to perpetrate such a heinous crime.
The statement called on security agencies in the state, especially the Nigeria Police Force, to ensure that the targeted facilities and others in the state were adequately protected before, during and after the remaining elections.
Kalu said, “Abia State government has uncovered plots by some hoodlums hired by desperate political actors to burn down Independent National Electoral Commission facilities in Obingwa, Ugwunagbo, Isiala Ngwa South, Ukwa East, Ukwa West and Osisioma Local Government Areas of the State.
“We wish to call on all those involved in the dastardly plot to desist from such nefarious activities even as we urge our youths not to allow themselves be used to perpetrate such a heinous crime.
“Security agencies in the state, especially the Nigeria Police Force, are hereby called upon to ensure that the targeted facilities and others in the state are adequately protected before, during and after the remaining elections.”