© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
FIRE GUTS INEC ELECTORAL INSTITUTE IN ABUJA
A fire incident has occurred at the Electoral Institute of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, located at Central Area, Abuja.
Reports available confirm that the fire occurred at the warehouse containing non-sensitive electoral material.
According to a staff of INEC who insists on anonymity, the fire started very late on Saturday night, and was extinguished early on Sunday.
The source also stated that some non-sensitive electoral materials such as envelopes, voter education materials and bags for conveying electoral materials to registration areas, were damaged.
The fire was however extinguished before it spread to the warehouse containing more sensitive materials.
Chairman of INEC, Attahiru Jega, was at the institute on Sunday morning to assess the impact of the fire.
The director of security of INEC, Shettima Ngilladar, has identified the cause of the fire as a power surge which caused the electrical panel to go up in flames.
Ngilladar ruled out political mischief as cause of the fire, assuring that the materials affected were old stock used in 2011.
He also noted that security agencies are already investigating the matter.
The INEC security chief said “these are non-sensitive materials that have been banned in the warehouse. You will see it yourself it is not hidden. It something clear, this banned non sensitive materials have nothing to do with the elections.”
The deputy director of electoral logistics at INEC, Ken Ukeagu, corroborated the security chief’s position stating that
“All sensitive materials required for 2015 elections have been moved to the states. Whatever we have here are old stock of the material. You know the normal process of disposing materials take a little while. But these materials here are not useful for 2015 elections.
“All the useful sensitive materials have been moved to the states. Even if these were materials that would have been used there is no way it would affect the elections,” he assured.
In a related development, INEC has announced that it would hold a townhall meeting at the Ya’adur Centre, Central Abuja, at 11:00am on Monday.
According to the chief press secretary to INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu, the meeting will afford all political parties including other Nigerians to ask questions on INEC’s preparedness for the 2015 general election.
INEC considers this meeting a very critical one as it is coming two weeks to the general elections.