Nigerian election official shot dead, voter registration suspended in Imo state

Nigeria's electoral commission on Friday suspended voter registration in most parts of oil-producing Imo state after an election official was shot dead by unknown gunmen, as the country prepares for a series of votes early next year.

Armed groups have since last year burned down electoral offices and police stations in states in the southeast, which government blames on the banned separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group. IPOB denies the charges.

Independent Electoral Commission of Nigeria spokesman Festus Okoye said in a statement voter registration had been suspended at 54 centres and in three local government areas in Imo state, following the attack on Thursday.

The country is plagued by growing insecurity, seen in gun attacks and kidnappings in the northwest, a festering Islamist insurgency in the northeast and attacks on government institutions by armed groups in the southeast.

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