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INEC: Host communities must help protect our offices

A national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Festus Okoye has called on Nigerians to help protect facilities of the electoral body from attacks.

Recall that no fewer than 7 INEC offices have been destroyed by yet to be identified assailants in 2021.

Okoye, in a chat with Arise TV on Thursday, said Nigerians must also understand that they share in the responsibility of protecting INEC offices.

He said the attacks also affect members of the affected communities working for the commission.

“The host communities must see themselves as the owners and custodians of these offices,” the national commissioner said.

“Over 80 percent of the staff working in our local government offices are from the surrounding communities in those LGAs.

“So when these offices are burnt down, the implication is that you’re trying to layoff some of the critical staff members that are from these communities. So the communities must take some level of responsibility in terms of protecting these offices.”

He also implored clerics, traditional rulers and other stakeholders to help amplify the damages that these attacks will have on the nation’s democracy.

“It’s also important for traditional rulers, religious leaders, civil society groups and critical stakeholders to speak up in relation to some of these attacks and vandalisation of critical national assets and symbols of our democracy.”

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