By OBINNA EZUGWU
the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has disclosed that a total of 4,695 smart card readers were destroyed in the fire incident that gutted containers carrying electoral materials in Anambra State earlier this week.
The electoral body which disclosed this in a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye on Tuesday, regretted that the incident was the third of such in a space of 12 days, following closely behind those Isialangwa in Abia State where thousands of yet to be claimed PVCs were destroyed by similar fire incident at an INEC office and another incident in Qua’an Pan Local Government in Plateau State.
INEC lamented that the Anambra incident would constitute a setback to its preparation for the upcoming elections in the state, but expressed confidence that the polls will proceed as scheduled, just as it noted that no life was lost.
“While the Commission awaits the details of the latest incident, it notes with some relief that there was no fatality or injury reported. Initial assessment however, confirms that a total of 4695 of the Smart Card Readers were destroyed in the inferno,” the statement read.
“While this is, no doubt, a setback to our preparations for the smooth conduct of the elections in Anambra State, the Commission has taken immediate measures to ameliorate the situation by mopping up some of the spare Card Readers from other states to deploy to Anambra State.
“With the steps so far taken, the Commission remains confident that the election in the state will proceed as scheduled.”