Fire incident not a setback to Ondo guber poll – NEC

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the fire, which occurred at about 8.20 pm, gutted a large container housing the card readers.

Men of the State Fire Service, who arrived at the scene at about 9:19 pm, became helpless when their equipment could not function.

As a result  those standing by used buckets to fetch and pour water into the affected 40 feet container housing the card readers.

Mr Festus Okoye, the INEC Commissioner in Charge of Information and Voter Education, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Akure.

Okoye, who gave assurance that the election would still go on, in spite of the incident, said that nothing would stop the poll.

Okoye, who expressed shock at the incident, which he described as a setback,  however, said that it would not affect the conduct of the governorship election.

Okoye said that some of the damaged card readers were brought in from the neighbouring Osun State.

He said: “The fire occurred in a container, where the card readers for the election and those meant for the training of the supervising and presiding officers were stored.

“It is unfortunate that we lost so many card readers but the incident would not in any way affect the conduct of the election.

“So, we are confident that this election will go on as scheduled.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and police have deployed more operatives to beef up security within the INEC premises.

He, however, said that investigation would be carried out to ascertain the cause of the incident.