Fire razes 5,141 card readers at Ondo INEC office

About 5,141 card readers were consumed by fire which gutted headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Akure, Ondo state on Thursday.

The fire which started at about 7.30pm destroyed the readers packed in a container.

Adanalwo Philips, Ondo Chief Fire Officer, confirmed that efforts were made to put the fire incident under control.

“The fire only gut a container in a confined section, which is very close to the office of the Commission.

“It was about spreading inside the offices when we raced to the venue but we have been able to put the situation under control. It is not what we should worry about,” Philips was quoted as saying

The Ondo State Governorship election has been scheduled to hold on 10, October, 2020. It was not known if the destruction of card readers, a key element for validation of the identity of voters will affect the less that a month away gubernatorial poll.

INEC said it would probe the cause of the fire that ravaged about 5,141 Smart Card Readers loaded in a container.

INEC national commissioner, Barrister Festus Okoye disclosed this on Thursday night in a statement on the Twitter handle of the commission.

According to Okoye, “investigation into the cause of the fire will commence promptly after the fire has been contained.

Okoye however said the fire will not affect the scheduled governorship election.

He said card readers would be mopped up from other states not conducting elections for the Ondo governorship poll.

“The fire Service men are still battling to put it out and we are confident that it would soon be put out.

“This is just one state election. What we are going to do is to mop up smart card readers from other states and use them for the conduct of the election while investigating what happened.

“The cost of 5,141 smart card readers is so much, but we are not going to dwell on that now.

“What we are going to dwell on is to mop up smart card readers from other states that are not conducting elections and use them to conduct Ondo governorship election.

“We will dwell on other issues regarding the configuration of the cards readers.”

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