In a daring assault during the early hours of Friday, armed assailants targeted the residence of Dr. Hale Gabriel Longpet, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lokoja, Kogi State.
According to INEC post on her official Facebook page, “at approximately 3:30 am, a tense confrontation unfolded as the assailants confronted security personnel stationed at Dr. Longpet’s residence, resulting in a prolonged gun battle lasting over 30 minutes before reinforcements could arrive”.
Despite no reported casualties, the exchange of gunfire inflicted significant property damage, highlighting the gravity of the incident.
This comes on the heels of a mob besieging the state office of INEC just a day prior, indicating a disturbing trend of heightened security risks in the state.
Responding to the attack, combined security personnel have been swiftly deployed to fortify and safeguard the REC’s premises.
INEC officials are calling for a thorough investigation, underscoring the urgent need for enhanced security measures to protect both personnel and assets in Kogi State.
As authorities grapple with the imperative task of ensuring the safety and integrity of electoral processes amidst growing security challenges, Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka’s Social Democratic Party (SDP) campaign network swiftly condemned the attack.
They pointed accusing fingers at Governor Yahaya Bello, alleging his involvement and citing previous instances where similar attacks were allegedly sponsored, especially in the context of the last contested election in the state.