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Security experts blame people afraid of elections over burnt INEC offices

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Security experts have alleged that Nigerians who are afraid of elections are behind the rising attacks on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices in several parts of the country.

According to recent data released by INEC, 50 attacks  have so far been recorded on its facilities in 15 states in the last four years.

Imo State has the highest number of attacks with 11 incidents; followed by Osun, seven; Akwa-Ibom, five; Enugu, five; Ebonyi, four; Cross River, four; Abia, four; Anambra, two; Taraba, two; Borno, one; Ogun, one; Lagos, one; Bayelsa, one; Ondo one; and Kaduna one.

A retired Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Ojukwu said that, apart from poor security intelligence, the identification of sponsors by security agencies would help curb the rising attacks, noting that those who do not want the election to hold are responsible.

Ojukwu said: “The attacks have occurred too often; by now, security agencies should have read the modus operandi. That appears not the case

“Most of the attacks were launched from outside the INEC premises. This suggests that the target ought to have been hardened. By providing external cover, we deny the attackers the opportunity to mess up the system. Even if they are not denied opportunities, the presence of security outside could delay and deter them.

“There is an apparent insufficiency in intelligence. This suggests a disconnection between the security agencies and the community. The attacks are not spontaneous but planned over time.

“Also related to poor intelligence is the fact that the sponsors of the attacks may not have been identified, except for the usual blanket finger-pointing by IPOB/ESN (the Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network).

“There could be other groups and persons not happy with the politics of Imo State, or disgruntled elements seeking revenge or a pound of flesh, or plain mischief makers trying to ruffle feathers”.

Another security expert, Chidi Omeje said: “We cannot just say that we are helpless. The government cannot be helpless. Those who stated that they did not want the election to take place may be responsible for the increasing attacks on INEC facilities.

“Also, people seem to have lost that sense of ownership. There is no robust concern about what is happening to INEC facilities. People are giving up easily to what is happening to INEC. They tend to say that it does not bother them.

“These signs show a society in distress. If the electoral process is not secured, there cannot be a democratically elected government”.

Source: The PUNCH

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