Fire, Saturday, gutted the warehouse of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) located at its Electoral Institute on Abuja Airport road.
However, the INEC Director Security Directorate, Shettima Ngiladar and his counterpart, the Fire Commander, Fidelis Iroegbu, who addressed journalists at the scene of the incident said that no single sensitive or non-sensitive materials meant for the 2015 elections was kept at the Electoral Institute that was consumed.
Speaking on how the inferno started, Iroegbu said “it was actually an electrical spark resulting from electricity power surge when the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) restored light. A thick smoke was noticed from the warehouse but there was no way to gain access into the place. I had to contact the federal and FCT fire services, and we used some break-in tools to gain access to the warehouse before we could salvage the situation”.
He reassured that the incident will not affect the scheduled 2015 general elections as the election materials were not kept anywhere around the Electoral Institute.
“The materials for the 2015 elections were not among the materials involved in the fire incidence. What the fire consumed was the obsolete disused electoral materials used during the 2011 elections which were waiting for the right time to be disposed.
“They are not even non-sensitive materials for the 2015 elections. From the report at our disposal, the fire started at about 11.00pm and lasted three hours before it was put off by 2.00am. The major problem they had was getting close to the base of the fire incidence because the keys were not in this complex. They had to forcefully gain entrance into the place,” Iroegbu said.
He asked for calm, assuring that the incident will not affect the forthcoming general elections in any way. “…every electoral material for the forthcoming elections has been shifted to the states.”