INEC: We don’t know cause of Ondo office fire

INEC: We don’t know cause of Ondo office fire



By Osagie Otabor, Akure


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it was yet to uncover the cause of the fire incident that razed two containers were 5,141 card readers were kept in its office in Akure.


It said the incident would not affect the conduct of the October 10 governorship election.


The electoral body assured that the governorship election would not be postponed.


Ondo Resident Electoral Commissioner, Rufus Akeju, said the fire began after its staff have closed for the day.


Akeju said necessary arrangements have been put in place to replace the burnt card readers.


He praised fire service men for stopping the inferno from spreading to other parts of the premises.


The Ondo REC said the commission has begun distribution of non-sensitive materials as well as commenced specialized training for security agents to enable them focused on the job on Election Day.


On his part, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who pledged to support the body in any way that would not be interpreted as political said Ondo State expected October 10 date remained sacrosanct.


Akeredolu who was at the INEC office to see the extent of damage said replacing the card readers would be at great cost to INEC.


The Agbaka of Alagbaka, Prince Afolabi Obasuyi, who was present at the fire incident, said the fire would have been quenched within thirty minutes if the fire service men were prepared.


Prince Obasuyi called for more investment in the fire service to avoid huge calamity in the future.


His words, “I was personally there. As the traditional head of Alagbaka community, it is my commitment to the people of this community to see things are okay. I went there with my staff. To my dismay, nothing was done to quench the fire after two hours. Fire service men tried to put off the fire using buckets of water. I alerted the state government and the Airport Fire fighters. I also called the fire fighters at Ilesha.


“If it were in the Western world, it wouldn’t have been the same. The fire should have been quenched within 30 minutes. My advice is that every community should have their own fire station. Every institution should have a mini fire post. The state fire fighters should be combat ready. If we had good firemen, the fire should have been tackled. It was just a container.”

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