Barely four days to the Presidential and National Assembly elections in Nigeria, fire has gutted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) storage facilities in Awka, Anambra state, destroying cards readers and other sensitive materials for the elections.
INE official who craved anonymity said the fire started at about 2:20pm at the containers where the commission stored sensitive materials for the general elections.
He added that the container contained sensitive materials like configured smart cards readers and smart cards.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Anambra state, Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji confirmed to journalists that the fire gutted the office and burnt the most sensitive materials for the election.
“The fire incident happened in the storage facilities that have most sensitive materials and I don’t have the details of the fire outbreak for now”, he said .
According to him, to give details of damage and cause of the fire, the commission will have to do investigation and assess the damages before it can tell the extent of incident.
He also said the commission has been using the facility since 2011 and has not had any problem.
On the possibility that the fire was likely trigger by power, he said it is not possible because the store was not connected to power supply.
The fire completely destroyed the card readers and other vulnerable materials for the 16 February presidential election.
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report. In a related development, about 191,344 persons are yet to collect their Permanent Voters Cards for the election in the state.