A group of heavily armed men attacked an election commission office and a police station in southeastern Nigeria on Wednesday, killing one teenager and wounding another, three weeks before the country’s presidential election, official sources said on Thursday.
Nigerians must choose a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari On February 25, a former general who is not running for re-election after two terms failed to stop the serious security problems that afflict the country: a violent jihadist insurgency in the Northeast, separatist tensions in the South, and rising crime in the Northwest and Center.
On Wednesday morning, men in four cars armed with “improvised explosive devices” attacked a election commission officea police station and a residential building adjacent to the police station, according to a statement from the Anambra state police in the southeast of the country.
“Unfortunately, the gunmen killed a 16-year-old boy, a relative of an on-duty police officer, while a 15-year-old girl was shot,” the statement said.
The girl was taken to the hospital where she is currently being treated.
The Commission building was “considerably damaged,” according to a statement signed by Inec President Festus Okoye.
Electoral material for the presidential and legislative elections was destroyed, including “729 ballot boxes” and “243 voting booths.”
However, the voter cards that had not yet been collected by their owners and that were stored in a fireproof cabinet were not destroyed, the statement said.
The Inec recently warned of the threat of an increase in violence during the electoral campaign, adding that it had registered at least 50 attacks since its launch almost two months ago.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the latest attack, south-eastern Nigeria has seen a large number of attacks attributed to the Indigenous Peoples of Biafran Movement (IPOB).
The IPOB, which seeks the revival of a separate state for the igbo ethnicityhe has repeatedly denied any 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.
Eighteen candidates compete to succeed Mr Buhariincluded tinubou ball of the judgment Congress of All Progressives (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labor Party (LP).