The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) last night confirmed that it lost a total of 4,695 to yesterday’s fire incident at the commission’s office in Awka, Anambra State.
Barrister Festus Okoye, National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education disclosed this in a statement, adding however that INEC is doing all that is possible to ensure election proceed according to schedule in the state on Saturday.
He said the commission is trying to ameliorate the problem by mopping up excess Smart Card Readers from other States.
Okoye said the fresh fire incident is a setback to effort by the commission to run a transparent election, after two earlier cases in Isiala Ngwa and Qua’an Pan, Plateau State.
He.said the matter has been reported to the police.
The statement read in.part:
“Assessment however confirms that a total of 4695 of the Smart Card Readers were destroyed in the inferno.
“While this is no doubt a setback to our preparations for the smooth conduct of the elections in Anambra State, the Commission has taken immediate measures to ameliorate the situation by mopping up some of the spare Card Readers from other States to deploy to Anambra State.
“With the steps so far taken. the Commission remains confident that the election in the state will proceed as scheduled.
“We have in the meantime reported the incident to the Police and the Fire Service and investigations into the cause have commenced.
“We take this opportunity to commend the Fire Service for its response. which prevented the spread of the fire and averted more damage.