The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has lost 5, 987 Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and 297 ballot boxes following a fire outbreak at its office in Qua’an Pan Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State, which was completely razed down.
However, following the fire incident that occurred at the Qua’an Pan LGA office of the electoral body in Plateau State and that of lsiala Ngwa South LGA office in Abia State, the commission has promised to reprint burnt PVCs and other election materials.
Head of Media, Publicity, and Voters Education of the Commission, Mr. Osaretin Imahiyereobo, who confirmed the incident, lamented that the fire incident has caused a serious setback in the preparations for the general elections in the LGA.
He said a drunken security man was said to have caused the outbreak leading to a complete loss of 5,987 PVCs, 297 voting cubicles, 297 ballot boxes, 14 generator sets (one 7KVA and 13 5KVAs), two file cabinets, election forms, Presiding and Collation Officer’s stamps, 850 mats for RAC centres, office equipment, among others.
He said, “The security man allegedly put fire in the obsolete materials evacuated from the store to give room for the other materials expected from the state office. The security man, who ran to the divisional police station to report the incident, was said to have put off the earlier fire on the obsolete materials but unknown to him, the fire didn’t go off completely. The situation was aggravated by the high wind in the area. ” He added that it was too early to suspect any sabotage.
Osaretin said that a management team of the commission, led by the Administrative Secretary, Mr. Gbadamasi Rasheed, went to the scene of the fire outbreak to have on-the–spot assessment of the incident, adding that the new Commissioner of Police to the State, Mr. Isaac Akinmoyede, was also on ground yesterday morning to assess the situation.
Meanwhile, following the fire incident that occurred at the Qua’an Pan LGA office of the electoral body in Plateau State and that of lsiala Ngwa South LGA office in Abia State, the commission has promised to reprint burnt PVCs and other election materials. The electoral body has also assured that the fire would not affect the conduct of the elections.