INEC: 5,987 PVCs, 297 Ballot Boxes, Others Destroyed in Plateau Inferno

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By Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that 5,987 permanent voter cards (PVCs), 297 voting cubicles, 297 ballot boxes, 14 generator sets (one 7KVA and 13 5KVA), two file cabinets, election forms, presiding and collation officer’s stamps, 850 mats for RAC centres and office equipment, among others were destroyed following the fire outbreak in its office in Qua’an Pan Local Government of Plateau State Saturday night.

The Head of Media, Publicity and Voters Education of the Commission, Mr. Osaretin Imahiyereobo, who confirmed the incident, lamented that the inferno has caused a serious setback to the preparations for the
general elections in the local government.

He said that a drunken security man was said to have caused the outbreak.

He said: “The security man allegedly put fire in the obsolete materials evacuated from the store to give room for the other materials expected from the state office. The security man, who ran to the divisional police station to report the incident, was said to have
put out the fire on the obsolete materials but unknown to him, the fire didn’t go out completely. The situation was aggravated by the high wind in the area.”

He added that it was too early to suspect any sabotage.

Imahiyereobo said that a management team of the commission, led by the
Administrative Secretary, Mr. Gbadamasi Rasheed, went to the scene of the fire outbreak to have an on-the-spot assessment of the incident, adding that the new state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Isaac
Akinmoyede, was also on ground on Sunday morning to assess the
situation.

On whether next Saturday elections will hold in the council, Imahiyereobo
said: “The commission will have to take a decision on whether or not
the election will hold in the local government. As I speak with you, I
am on my way from the local government. But I think election will go
ahead in the local government; there is no possibility of having the
Presidential and National Assembly elections cancelled in the local
government because of what happened. As I speak with you, alternative arrangements are already going on to ensure that elections hold there. It will, of course, take additional cost.”