An outbreak of fire took place at the Anambra state Independent National Electoral Commission office, leaving sensitive materials like card readers and other election materials burnt.

According to a reliable source, the incident happened around 2:30pm on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at INEC’s secretariat in Awka, the state capital.

The members of staff at the secretariat were reported to have fled the scene as fire fighters arrived to put out the fire.

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined as it comes just four days before the Presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled to hold on February 16.

The fire incident is the third recent one affecting an INEC office following the ones that led to the burning down of the commission’s offices in Isiala Ngwa LGA in Abia State on Saturday, February 2 and Qua’an Pan local government area of Plateau State on Saturday, February 9, 2019.

According to a statement signed by INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, on Monday, February 11,  the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has been notified about the trend of its offices being set on fire.

He said the commission has requested additional security measures to enhance security around INEC offices and other critical structures of the commission.

“The commission wishes to assure all Nigerians that it will not succumb to the antics of arsonists whose motive might be to create fear in the minds of voters and sabotage the conduct of the 2019 general elections,” he said.

2019 general elections

The 2019 general elections will kick off with the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 16 while Governorship and State Assembly elections will take place on March 2.

A total of 84,004,084 are registered to vote in the elections.