The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the Continuous Voter Registration Exercise (CVR) exercise in the Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area of Imo State.
This trailed an attack by gunmen on INEC officials who were carrying out registration in the area.
The gunmen, numbering about 12, stormed the area on Thursday and attacked some ad hoc staff members of the electoral commission who were registering members of the community for the 2023 general elections.
Reacting in a statement, the National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, explained that a staff of the commission, Nwokorie Anthony, was shot dead at Nkwo Ihitte (PU 004) in Amakohia Ward (RA02) of Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area.
Two other staff involved in the registration exercise at the polling unit are also missing.
INEC said it was making efforts to locate their whereabouts.
Okoye said, “Prior to this incident, the Commission had suspended the CVR in Orsu and Njaba Local Government areas of the State on account of insecurity while the exercise is taking place only at the INEC LGA office in Oru East, Oru West, Orlu and Ohaji – Egbema Local Government Areas of the State.
“The Commission extends its condolences to the family of Nwokorie Anthony and prays that God will grant them the fortitude to bear the loss. The incident has been reported to security agencies to unravel the circumstances that led to this unfortunate incident and bring the culprits to justice.
“We enjoin the President General of the various Town Unions in Imo State as well as all the critical stakeholders to protect the staff of the Commission engaged in national assignment.
“The safety and security of staff is of paramount importance to the Commission, particularly with the devolution of the voter registration exercise beyond our State and Local Government Area offices nation in our determination to serve Nigerians better.”
SAHARAREPORTERS, NEW YORK