Fire guts Ondo INEC office:
Not fewer than 5000 Smart card readers have been reported destroyed by Fire at Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) building in Ondo State.
Reports has it that these card readers were being charged in the offices before fire razed the building Thursday night.
As at the time of this report men of the fire service were still battling to stop the fire.
The root cause of the inferno is yet to be ascertained.
The incident occurs a month to the governorship election in the state.
Media reports have it that the fire gutted the container housing smart card readers.
The INEC Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye, told journalists at the scene of the incident, that the fire affected the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) section of the commission.
The spokesperson of the commission who has been in Ondo State, confirmed the development, disclosing that he is currently at the office with some other staff of the commission trying to contain the fire incident.
Mr Okoye said the commission would launch an investigation into the incident.
He added that over 5,100 card readers were burnt in the inferno, stressing that the burnt card readers comprised 1,000 units delivered to INEC from Osun State and the over 4,000 belonging to the INEC in Ondo State.
He said though the incident was a setback but “it will not affect the governorship election.”
It was gathered that men of the state fire service were not on the ground at the scene to put out the fire but the fire service men from the Akure Airport arrived at 9:20 pm.
However, no life was lost in the incident.
The Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to INEC chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, also confirmed the incident in a short statement titled: ‘Fire at INEC office in Akure.’
He noted that the commission would commence an immediate investigation into the cause of the fire.
He said: “Fire broke out today (Thursday) September 10, 2020, at the Ondo State Head Office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Akure.
“The inferno, which gutted the container housing smart card readers, started at 7.30 pm. Men of the fire service are, however, currently containing the fire.
“INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, who is in Ondo State in connection with preparations for the Ondo State governorship election scheduled for October 10,2020, rushed to the office about 8 pm.
“The Administrative Secretary of the state, Mr. Popoola, and some staff of the commission are also there.
“Okoye said an investigation into the cause of the fire will commence promptly after the fire has been contained.”