The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have confirmed that only 319 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) were burnt in the fire that engulfed the INEC office in Abia State.
The commission’s office in Isiala Ngwa local government area, Abia State was burnt down on Monday.
The head of Voter Education and Publicity of the commission, Mr Godfrey Achibie, confirmed to total number of burnt PVCs to be 319 in an interview with newsmen on Thursday.
He dismissed reports saying that 15,000 PVCs were destroyed by the fire, urging newsmen to verify their reports from the right sources before publication.
“Don’t listen to the people by the roadside and start publishing”, he said.
Achibie said that only the section of the office where the PVCs were stored was affected, and not the entire building, adding that the commission was deeply concerned about the incident and is taking serious steps to address the situation.
He also assured the people that INEC will replace the burnt PVCs. However, he did not confirm whether the cards will be ready before the 16th of February, 2019 presidential polls. He further expressed his happiness over the enthusiasm shown by the people concerning their PVCs, urging them to be of good conduct, and assuring them that INEC will conduct a free, fair, and credible elections.
Abia State Fire
According to Daily Trust, the fire that engulfed the INEC office in Abia state was started by hoodlums who stormed the office by 2am and set it ablaze.
Daily Trust reports that in 2015, thugs were alleged to have set the INEC office at Omopa on fire. This is the second time the INEC office in Isiala Ngwa is being burnt down.
The fire was said to have alerted the youths in the area, who called the attention of the police. Together, they were able to stop the fire, although the fire had caused maximum damage to the structure and materials in the office.