More than two hundred smart card readers and six hundred ballot boxes have been lost to fire allegedly ignited by irate mobs at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Isiala Mbano local government area of Imo state on Sunday last week.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State Professor Francis Ezeonu made this known during a stakeholders meeting in Owerri.
He said the Commission also lost over thirty smart card readers and other electoral materials to thugs during the Presidential and National Assembly elections at Ohaji- Egbema local government area of the state.
Professor Ezeonu said he was shocked by the level of desperation among highly placed individuals in the state during the last elections.
According to him some ad hoc staff that participated in the said elections had notified the commission of their intention not to participate in this Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state due to the harassment and intimidation they faced on February twenty third, just as Corps members engaged for the forthcoming elections are also threatening to withdraw their services due to threats.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner while stressing the determination of the Commission to provide a level playing field for candidates noted that security agencies had indicated their readiness to protect lives and property during and after elections.
Our Correspondent reports that the meeting was attended by representatives of political parties, civil society groups and the media.
REPORTED BY: CHINAZO ILECHUKWU
EDITED BY: Chinasa Ezeonyebuchi