"Ballot Papers Are Not Affected" - INEC speaks on Akwa Ibom fire
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has allayed the fears of Akwa Ibom residents ahead of Saturday’s elections after the office of the Commission in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of the state was gutted by fire.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Mike Igini, told Channels Television on Friday that although a good portion of the building was gutted by the fire, the ballot papers for the elections were intact.
He, however, noted that some other important equipment like card readers were destroyed by the fire.
Igini said, “I have been to the place and we found that part of the office was gutted by fire and some very important equipment were burnt down like the card readers.
“But the good news is that the ballot papers are all intact.
“In fact, I must commend the first responders for the good job because that would have been an issue, but I can confirm to Nigerians and Akwa Ibomites that all the ballot papers are intact.
“Where we have issues is that a number of card readers were burnt but another good news is that we have some reserve here and from the neighbouring state and even Abuja.
“Abuja has called in case we need more and of course we are doing a quick round assessment of that and if there is need for that, Abuja will also send out … otherwise, two of our neighbouring states here, Cross River and Rivers State will be able to assist us”.
The fire is said to have started at about 2:00 am on Friday but the cause is yet to be ascertained.
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