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Fire ravages Nigeria's Electoral Commission warehouse

A fierce furnace last Saturday night wiped out parts of the warehouse of the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja, with just two weeks to the country’s Presidential Election on March 28.
The fire which lasted well over four hours was brought under control by fire fighters at the ware house which is located at INEC’S Electoral Institute on the airport road in federal capital.
Although eye witnesses who got to the scene before security personnel cordoned off the area claimed that the fire consumed electoral materials, the commission insists that the materials were those used for the 2012 elections.
Briefing Graphiconline, the Director of Security at the institute, Shettima Ngilladar blamed the fire on the country’s version of “dumsor dumsor”.
He explained that the fire started immediately after restoration of light to the area following one of the usual unannounced power outages, adding that “the incidence occurred immediately after power was restored, leading up to the sudden sound from an electric panel within one of the warehouses”.
Before announcing the February postponement, the Chairman of the Commission, Prof Attahiru Jega assured the country that all sensitive electoral materials that have been secured and others on their way would be secured in vaults of the nation’s central bank.
On his part Mr Ngilladar assured the electorate and the international community that the fire would not have any negative effect on the upcoming elections since almost all materials for the elections needed at the various states have been dispatched.
Responding to queries from journalists, Mr Ngilladar ruled out any political machination regarding the fire, insisting that it was purely an electrical issue.
“These are non-sensitive materials that have been banned in the warehouse. You will see it yourself. It is not hidden. It is something clear, these banned non-sensitive materials have nothing to do with the elections.
“They are old materials in store that have not been evacuated. These are old stock of non-sensitive materials, like bags, envelopes, election forms which were used in the 2011 elections. They won’t be used for the 2015 elections. Everything here is non-sensitive,” Mr Ngilladar told reporters.

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