No fewer than 4, 695 smart card readers were destroyed in the fire that engulfed two containers at the Awka, Anambra State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Tuesday.
The National Commissioner, Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, made this known on Tuesday in a statement he issued.
The confirmation, he said was made as a result of initial probe into the case.
He however said that the incident would not affect the conduct of election in the area as measures were being put in place to that effect.
The cause of the fire is yet to be known.
Okoye’s statement reads: “This is the third of such incidents in the past 12 days, following closely behind those of Isiala Ngwa and Qua’an Pan Local Government offices in Abia and Plateau states respectively.
“While the commission awaits the details of the latest incident, it notes with some relief that there was no fatality or injury reported. Initial assessment, however, confirms that a total of 4695 of the smart card readers were destroyed in the inferno.
“While this is, no doubt, a setback to our preparations for the smooth conduct of the elections in Anambra State, the commission has taken immediate measures to ameliorate the situation, by mopping up some of the spare card readers from other states to deploy to Anambra State.
“With the steps so far taken, the commission remains confident that the election in the state will proceed as scheduled.”