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Nigeria: Office of the Electoral Commission set on fire

Nigeria: Office of the Electoral Commission set on fire
A woman votes during the gubernatorial and state assembly elections at a polling centre in ...   -  
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Sunday Alamba/Copyright 2019 The AP. All rights reserved.


The Nigerian Electoral Commission (INEC) said one of its offices was burnt down on Sunday in the southeastern state of Ebonyi, three months ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections in Africa's most populous country.

"Our Izzi local government office in Iboko was burnt down," INEC spokesman Festus Okoye said in a statement on Sunday.

The attack by "unidentified" men did not result in any casualties but all materials were destroyed, including many voter cards, he added.

This is the third such incident in November, after the attack on two INEC offices in the southwest, a region usually spared from such violence.

On 25 February, Nigerians will elect a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari, who is not standing for re-election after two terms in office and a record that has been deemed catastrophic both economically and in terms of security, two major issues in the election.

INEC recently warned of the threat of escalating violence during the election campaign, adding that it had recorded at least 50 attacks since the exercise began nearly two months ago.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack, southeast Nigeria has seen a large number of attacks attributed to the Indigenous Peoples' Movement of Biafra (IPOB).

The IPOB, which is seeking to revive a separate state for the Igbo ethnic group, has repeatedly denied responsibility for the violence.

According to local media, more than 100 police and other security personnel have been killed since the beginning of last year in targeted attacks.

Nigeria has a long history of election-related unrest and malfeasance. In 2011, more than 800 people were killed in post-election violence in the country.

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