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Elections: INEC raises alarm over fire incidents

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Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed concern about fire incidents in two of its local government offices.

There have been fire incidents in INEC offices in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State and in Qua’an Pan Local Government Area of Plateau State.

“Some of the items destroyed in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government include 2979 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and other materials.

“At the Qua’an Pan office, items destroyed include 5987 uncollected Permanent Voter Cards, 380 voting cubicles, 755 ballot boxes, 14 generators, election forms and official stamps,” Festus Okoye, Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, wrote in a statement late on Sunday.

Okoye said the commission had raised the matter with the police chief, Mohammed Adamu “of the emerging trend of the burning of the Local Government Offices of the commission close to the conduct of the elections and at a period when the commission is engaged in the massive movement of election-related materials nationwide.”

“The commission wishes to assure all Nigerians that it will not succumb to the antics of arsonists whose motive might be to create fear in the minds of voters and sabotage the conduct of the 2019 general elections,” he said.

The fire incident that occurred at the Qua’an Pan Local Government office of the commission in Plateau State on Saturday 9th February 2019 is the second of such incidents in less than a week. The first incident occurred in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government office of the Commission in Abia State on Saturday 2nd February.

In view of these developments, the commission has asked security agencies to arrest and bring to justice, persons or groups involved in the attacks on the offices of the commission.

According to the commission, the two fire incidents did not affect the Smart Card Readers that are presently being configured in the respective state offices of the commission.

The commission assured Nigerians that it would not succumb to the antics of arsonists whose motive might be to create fear in the minds of voters and sabotage the conduct of the 2019 general elections. Premium Times

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