The All Progressives Congress, APC in Ondo state, through its Publicity secretary, Alex Kalejaye, said it was baffled by the fire incident at the INEC state office.
Kalejaye in the statement said: “Although the fire incident could occur at any time, the party is more concerned that the unfortunate event happened a few weeks before the gubernatorial election.
“While the party refuses to join the pontifical wagon in condemning and blaming the unfortunate development, we firmly believe that the gravity of what happened requires immediate action by security agencies to immediately unravel what really happened, to prevent it from To happen again.
“The chapter also calls on INEC’s national headquarters to do everything possible to ensure that the incident does not result in setbacks in its preparation for the governor’s election in October.
However, the Resident Election Commissioner, Ambassador Rufus Akeju, while addressing a press conference in Akure, denied that the fire incident was a collusion ploy with any political party to rig the elections.
Akeju said the accusation was unfounded and unfortunate.
According to him, the incident began “between 7.15pm and 7.30pm, when most of the Commission’s staff had gone home.
“The fire incident really affected the smart card reader store. In total, 5,141 card readers that were inside the metal compartment (store) when the fire broke out were completely destroyed.
“The brave display of firefighters from the Ondo State Fire Service and the Federal Fire Service prevented hell from spreading to other parts of the office building.
“As of now, the actual cause of the fire is unknown, but the relevant security agencies have started an investigation and you will be informed more as events unfold.
“Let me use this medium to allay the fears of the electorate, political parties, and our stakeholders and good folks in Ondo State that the fire incident will not affect the conduct of the next gubernatorial election in Ondo State of in no way or will lead to the postponement of the Election.
The REC noted that “the necessary arrangements have been made for the replacement of damaged materials.
“Let me reiterate that our determination to hold free, fair, credible and successful elections remains unflappable.
“We will not lean on our oars as the Electoral Management Body to always pursue the Vision and Mission of being an EMB that meets the aspirations of the Nigerian people.
He expressed his appreciation to the men and officers of the Ondo State Fire Service, Akure Federal Fire Service, Nigerian Federal Airport Authority, Akure Nigeria, and Federal Fire Service, Ilesha for coming to our aid at our time. of necessity.