| Gyang Bere, Jos
The office of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Quan’pan Local Government Area of Plateau State has been burnt by fire, destroying 5,987 PVCs uncollected, 297 ballot boxes, 297 voting cubicles, newly-printed manual and electronic voters register.
Head of Voters Education in the state, Mr. Osaratin Imahiyereobo, confirmed this on Sunday in a press statement and said the fire incident had caused a setback to the conduct of the February 16 presidential election.
He said the fire outbreak which was not clearly stated, was said to have been caused by a drunken security man who set fire on some obsolete materials to give way for the new ones.
He said: “The INEC office in Qua’an Pan has been engulfed by fire causing a setback for the preparations for the general elections in the local government area. The office is completely burnt with all its content that is ballot boxes, generators serviced and filled with fuel, cubicules, newly-printed electronic and manual voters register, uncollected PVCs, materials for the preparations of RAC and other materials yet to be identified.
“The number of PVCs lost in the inferno is 5,987, voting cubicles, 297, ballot boxes 297, 14 generators, one 7KVA, 13, 5KVAs, 2 file cabinets, election forms, presiding and collation officer’s stamps, election forms, 850 mats for RAC centres, office equipment etc.
“The security allegedly put fire to 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 off the earlier fire in the obsolete materials unknown to him, the fire didn’t go off. The situation was aggravated by the high wind in the area.”
Imahiyereobo said that a management team from INEC headquarters Jos, led by the Administrative Secretary, Gbadamasi Rasheed, had left Jos to Quan’pan Local Government Area to assess the situation.