The warehouse of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at its Electoral Institute along Airport Road, Abuja was gutted by fire at the weekend. But fears that 2015 electoral materials might have been affected were doused by INEC’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity Mr. Wole Osaze Uzzi.“None of the sensitive electoral materials for the presidential and National Assembly elections and the governorship and state assembly elections was affected.”
The Electoral Institute’s Director of Security, Shettima Ngiladar, said the fire was caused by an electric surge. The director said the incident would not affect the preparation for the elections since the burnt items were the non-sensitive materials like bags, forms and envelopes used in the 2011 general elections.
“The fire incident started yesterday (Saturday) at about 11 pm and it took the firemen about two to three hours to put off the fire,” he said. Asked whether it was a sabotage, he said: “There was no foul play”. Corroborating, the Deputy Director of Electoral Logistics at INEC, Ken Ukeagu, said: “ All sensitive materials required for 2015 elections have been moved to the states. Whatever we have here are old stocks.
“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. INEC National Commissioner in charge of Electoral Logistics Col. Mohammed Hammanga, who was at the institute to inspect the damage, expressed happiness that materials affected were old stock. “We thank God that it has not gone beyond this. We are happy that it has not destroyed the materials that will be used in the election,” he said.