Fire Outbreak: INEC Confirms ‘Extensive Damage’ At Zamfara Office As Police Commence Investigation
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said the Zamfara State police command has commenced investigation into the extensive damage done to one of its offices in the state following a fire outbreak.
The office located in the Kauran Namoda Local Government Area of the state was gutted by fire on Monday night.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said the incident was reported by Professor Sa’idu Babura, the commission’s resident electoral commissioner in the state.
“The tragic incident occurred around 11.00pm on Monday 2nd May 2022. No casualties were reported while critical materials such as Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and registration machines for the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise stored in fireproof cabinets were saved.
“However, the building was extensively damaged. A number of fixed and movable office furniture were destroyed in spite of the best effort of the Zamfara State Fire Service to contain the inferno.
“The attention of the Nigeria Police has been drawn to this incident. Together with the Fire Service, they have commenced investigation to ascertain the cause of the fire and advise the Commission for further action,” said Okoye.
In 2019, INEC had complained about “the emerging trend of the burning of the Local Government Offices of the Commission close to the conduct of the elections and at a period when the Commission is engaged in the massive movement of election-related materials nationwide.”
In May 2021, the electoral body said at least 41 of its offices had been attacked across the country by armed non-state actors.
“The list does not include damages to facilities as a result of fire accidents, natural disasters such as flooding or rain/windstorms, the snatching/destruction of electoral materials during elections, burglary and attack on election duty officials,” INEC chairman, Mahmud Yakubu, had said in a statement.