Crime and Security

Elections: Nigerians suspect foul play in frequent torching of INEC facilities

Nigerians have began to express concern over the frequent fire outbreak in facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) across the country, few days to the presidential election.

At the last count, INEC facilities, including card readers, Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and others materials have been destroyed by fire in three states, Plateau, Abia and Anambra states.

Some Nigerians who begged not to be named, have opined that the fire outbreaks may not be unconnected with the plans by politicians to rig the presidential election on Saturday to favour their preferred candidate.

Some aver that with the incidents occurring in states where the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has strong following, the perpetrators may have links with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Others further aver that the perpetrators may have acted in connivance with some officials of the electoral umpire for pecuniary considerations.

The latest incident which occurred in Anambra State, the home state of the PDP Vice Presidential Candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, where over 4, 500 card readers were reportedly destroyed, tends to give credence to the allegation of conspiracy.

Two container loads of election materials caught fire at the INEC office close to the Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka, the state capital Tuesday afternoon.

The cause of the fire outbreak was not ascertained as men of the fire service battled to put out the fire.

The container reportedly contained card readers meant for this Saturday, February 16th presidential election.

This incident trailed similar ones in Plateau and Abia state where INEC offices  were gutted by fire few days back.

The Anambra State incident comes days after the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu directed States Commissioners of Police, to ensure water-tight security around INEC facilities in their domain while the zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police monitor compliance.

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