The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) says it has established contact with two members of staff who went missing following attack on a Voter Registration Centre in Imo State on Thursday by unknown gunmen which claimed the life of an official.
” …the Commission has now established contact with two of our staff missing after yesterday’s attack in Ihitte Uboma. They are safe and will soon be reunited with their families,” Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said in a statement on Friday.
The statement which announced suspension of Voter Registration Exercise in more parts of the state reads:
SUSPENSION OF VOTER REGISTRATION OUTSIDE THE STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICES IN IMO STATE
Further to the unfortunate incident in Imo State in which our staff was killed by gunmen in Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area yesterday, the Commission has decided to suspend the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise in all the 54 additional centres created to facilitate the registration of voters across the State. The exercise will now be confined to our State and Local Government Area offices except in Orsu, Njaba and Ihitte Uboma where it is suspended indefinitely.
This decision follows a further report from the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Francis C. Ezeonu, of threats to our staff involved in the exercise in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area. Earlier, the Commission had restricted the exercise to our offices in Oru East, Oru West, Orlu and Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Areas.
Meanwhile, the Commission has now established contact with two of our staff missing after yesterday’s attack in Ihitte Uboma. They are safe and will soon be reunited with their families.
The safety of staff remains a primary concern to the Commission. We will continue to ensure that no staff is put in harm’s way while working with the security agencies and community leaders to protect them and facilitate their work.