Most of the the attacks on offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were caused by anti-police-brutality protests, the body says in a recent report.
In 2020, many Nigerians protested against the criminality of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The peaceful demonstrations were infiltrated by state-sponsored thugs and culminated in the police and the army shooting of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos.
The Nigerian government, has since then, blamed the violence that ensued in the days after the October-20-2020 shooting on the protesters.
According to a recent report which INEC sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, the demonstrations, dubbed “EndSARS protests,” have become more dangerous to Nigeria’s election preparedness than Boko Haram is.
Between 2019 and 2021, Boko Haram and bandits each attacked INEC facilities once. But EndSARS protests, according to the report, caused attacks on INEC installations an alarming 18 times.
Eleven of the attacks were caused by “unknown gunmen and hoodlums,” the INEC report says. Election thuggery were to blame for six of the attacks while post-election violence caused four of the incidents.
The 41 attacks happened in 14 states, with most, according to the INEC report, taking place in Imo which has recently experienced onslaughts by “unknown gunmen”.
Biafra separatists are said to be behind the attacks by “unknown gunmen” in Imo and other parts of the South-East. INEC says the incidents could jeopardise the 2023 general elections.
See the INEC report below: