Elections To Go Ahead In Akwa Ibom, Despite Attack On INEC Office
The Independent National Electoral Commission (lNEC) has promised to go ahead with today’s Governorship and State Assembly Elections in Akwa Ibom state despite yesterday’s attack at the commission’s office in the state.
Recall yesterday we reported that over 160 Card Readers out of 190 provided for the area were burnt including 12 brand-new generators, computer sets and other office equipment.
However, INEC says it has replaced the 198 smart card readers, voter register and other items destroyed during the attack.
This was contained in a statement issued Friday night in Abuja and signed by its National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voted Education Committee, Festus Okoye. The statement partly reads:
“While we do not at this point know the cause of the fire, a report has been made to the law enforcement agencies and the Fire Service. We are liaising closely with both agencies to investigate and ascertain the cause of the fire and if found to be a deliberate act, we will ensure diligent and vigorous prosecution of those responsible.
“Several sensitive and non-sensitive materials for tomorrow’s‘s Governorship and State House of Assembly elections were destroyed including 198 Smart Card Readers, the printed Register of Voters, 13 Generators as well as several Voting Cubicles and office equipment.
“Fortunately, the ballot papers and result sheets for the elections were not affected and are intact. Acting timeously, the Commission has been able to replace and reconfigure all the destroyed Smart Card Readers and reprinted the Register of Voters. With the replacement and the salvage of other items, we are pleased to announce that the election will proceed as scheduled. All registered voters in the Local Government Area are therefore requested to turn up to cast their votes between 8am and 2pm tomorrow”.