The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has said the inferno that led to the loss of over 4,695 Smart Card Readers in Anambra State would not affect the conduct of next Saturday election in the state.
Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee in the Commission made the disclosure in a statement on Tuesday night.
Okoye admitted that Tuesday inferno in Anambra State was the third incident leading to loss of certain sensitive and non-sensitive materials in three states ahead of the exercise.
The Commission assured the nation that while the incident in Anambra was no doubt, a setback to its preparations for the smooth conduct of the elections in the state, it has taken immediate measures to ameliorate the situation by mopping up some of the spare Card Readers from other states to be deployed to Anambra State.
The statement further read in part: “Further to our statement of Sunday 10th February 2019, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) regrets to inform the public that there has been another fire incident, this time in its Anambra State office.
“This is the third of such incidents in the last 12 days following closely behind those of lsiala Ngwa and Qua’an Pan Local Government offices in Abia and Plateau States respectively.
“While the Commission awaits the details of the latest incident, it notes with some relief that there was no fatality or injury reported. Initial assessment, however, confirms that a total of 4,695 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 be deployed 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.”
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