- INEC says it is yet to know what triggered the fire at its Akure office
- The facility was razed down by a raging fire on Thursday, September 10
- The incident affected two containers were over 5,000 card readers were stored by the commission's officials
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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it was yet to uncover the cause of the fire incident that razed two containers where 5,141 card readers were kept in its office in Akure.
The electoral commission, however, said the incident would not affect the conduct of the October 10 governorship election, assuring all stakeholders that the governorship election would not be postponed.
Speaking on the incident, Ondo state resident Electoral Commissioner, Rufus Akeju, said the fire began after its staff have closed for the day.
He said necessary arrangements have been put in place to replace the burnt card readers as soon as possible, The Nation reports.
He praised fire servicemen for stopping the inferno from spreading to other parts of the premises.
On his part, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu pledged to support the body in any way that would not be interpreted as political.
Akeredolu who was at the office to see the extent of damage said replacing the card readers would be at great cost to INEC.
The Agbaka of Alagbaka, Prince Afolabi Obasuyi, who was present at the fire incident, said the fire would have been quenched within thirty minutes if the fire servicemen were prepared
Prince Obasuyi, however, called for more investment in the fire service to avoid huge calamity in the future.
Recall that INEC national commissioner, Barrister Festus Okoye, who witnessed the fire, on Thursday, September 10, said that the commission will investigate the cause of the disaster, adding that the development will not deter the commission from conducting the governorship election in the state.
He disclosed that card readers from other states which are not conducting polls any time soon will be used for the Ondo gubernatorial election.
“This is just one state election. What we are going to do is to mop up smart card readers from other states and use them for the conduct of the election while investigating what happened.
“The cost of 5,141 smart card readers is so much, but we are not going to dwell on that now. What we are going to dwell on is to mop up smart card readers from other states that are not conducting elections and use them to conduct Ondo governorship election,” he said.
Legit.ng had earlier reported the reaction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, over the incident.
Jegede, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said he suspected foul play in the mysterious fire that gutted the state office of the INEC.
“We cannot rule out a foul play in the mysterious fire that completely razed down the state INEC office; now, our fate is in the hands of God,” he said.
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