INEC in a statement on Sunday signed by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said the Smart Card Readers were not affected in both incidents, which happened within one week.
The Commission however assured 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.
Meanwhile, the commission has urged all relevant security agencies to arrest and bring to justice, persons or groups involved in the attacks on the offices of the Commission.
The statement reads “The fire incident that occurred at the Qua’an Pan Local Government office of the Commission in Plateau State on Saturday 9th February 2019 is the second of such incidents in less than a week. The first incident occurred in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government office of the Commission in Abia State on Saturday 2nd February.
”Some of the items destroyed in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government include 2979 Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and other materials. At the Qua’an Pan office, items destroyed include 5987 uncollected Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs), 380 Voting Cubicles, 755 ballot boxes, 14 generators, election forms and official stamps.
”The Commission has notified the Acting Inspector General of Police of the emerging trend of the burning of the Local Government Offices of the Commission close to the conduct of the elections and at a period when the Commission is engaged in the massive movement of election related materials nationwide.
”In view of these developments, the Commission has taken the following steps: “Notified the Inspector General of Police of this new trend and requested that additional security measures be provided to enhance security around INEC Offices and other critical structures of the Commission.
“Directed the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Plateau State to open a register for all those in the affected Local Government Area who approach the Commission to collect their PVCs within the specified period. The Commission will print the PVCs and make them available for collection in good time before the elections.
“Reprinted and delivered the Permanent Voters’ Cards of the affected registered voters in Isiala Ngwa South in Abia State.
“Made temporary arrangements for the relocation of the burnt offices of the Commission. The said offices will be ready for the conduct of the February 16 and March 2, 2019 elections.
“The Commission will proceed as planned in the affected Local Government Areas and all the burnt materials will be replaced in good time and as such will not affect the conduct of the elections.
“All relevant security agencies have been requested to arrest and bring to justice, persons or groups involved in the attacks on the offices of the Commission.
“The two fire incidents did not affect the Smart Card Readers that are presently being configured in the respective state offices 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.“
Ondo Communal Clash: Death Toll Rises To Four
Gbenga Akinpelumi, one of the locals that were attacked during a communal clash in Araromi Obu in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State is dead, SaharaReporters can confirm.
A relative of Akinpelumi, who does not want his name published, disclosed the sad news to SaharaReporters on Friday.
He said Akinpelumi sustained injuries from the gunshots which penetrated his abdomen.
“Akinpelumi could not survive the surgeries carried out on him by the doctors. Sadly, we lost him at exactly 12: 48 midnight on Thursday,” the relative said on the phone.
Akinpelumi, a farmer, was among those injured and rushed to the Trauma and Surgical Centre, Ondo shortly after the clash between the locals.
The clash occurred between the people of Araromi Obu living in Ago Alaye town and the Ikale community in Okitipupa Local Government Area of the State.
Both southern communities in Ondo State were fighting over a “land” as no fewer than eight persons were injured while properties worth millions of naira were destroyed during the attacks.
With the sad development, the death toll in the community has risen to four while the remaining injured are still receiving various treatments in the hospital.
Meanwhile, it was gathered on Friday that the residents of Ago Alaye town in Odigbo Local Government Area of the state have now deserted the community over the fear of another attack.
This development led to the declaration of a 24-hour curfew on the town by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu with a charge on security agencies to beef up security in the nook and cranny of the community.
The governor has also embarked on an on-the-spot assessment of the communities with a warning that any person found culpable in the violence would be made to face the wrath of the law.
He said, “Our administration will not condone any form of criminalities in the state.”
The governor was accompanied by the Commissioner of Police, Mr Undie Adie, the Brigade Commander of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Brig. Gen. Zakari Abubakar, and other security chiefs.
When he visited the palace of the Ajobu of Araromi Obu, Oba Aderemi Adelola, the governor assured him of maximum security of lives and property of the people of the town.
He said, “Our government is ready to take action on Ago Alaye community if the violence persists.”
Akeredolu, who said security forces were on the ground to maintain peace and order, commended the monarch for maintaining peace in the community by appealing to the people against a reprisal.
“I have heard that you called your subjects that there should not be any reprisal. You have maintained peace within Araromi community. We thank you for that. We will not allow miscreant to disturb the peace in this community.”
At the palace of Abodi of Ikaleland, Oba George Faduyile, the governor pleaded with the traditional rulers in Ikaleland to caution their subjects.
Akeredolu added that the state government would set up a committee to look into the cause of conflict.
Transfer: Guardiola reveals player he would love to sign for Man City
The Premier League champions have failed to replace Vincent Kompany, after the Belgian decided to quit the Etihad after 10 years, to become player-manager at Anderlecht.
City are refusing to meet Leicester’s £90million valuation of Harry Maguire, while reports of a possible move for Benfica’s Ruben Dias has been dismissed by club officials.
That means City could go into the new season with John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Nicolas Otamendi and youngsters Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood Bellis.
“We are so happy with the squad we have.
“I don’t know if the players here will stay or new players will come, but since I came here I have been delighted with the players we have.
“Maybe we (will replace Kompany), but we have three incredible central defenders.
“And Fernandinho can play in that position, also. We will see,” Guardiola told reporters on their pre-season tour.
City have so far spent a club-record £63million on Spanish midfielder Rodri and £6million to bring back full-back Angelino from PSV Eindhoven.
United States Of Biafra: Asari Dokubo Urges Niger Deltans To Join South-east, Slams Northerners
Asari Dokubo, founder of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force has declared his support for the actualization of Biafra while calling on Niger Delta people to return home following threats from Arewa youths.
His declaration came on the heels of northerners asking herdsmen to leave the South and the suspended implementation of Ruga settlements in parts of Nigeria.
Dokubo made his position known in a meeting with leaders of Niger Delta states.
He said: “We, the people of the Niger Delta today, resolved to be part and parcel of the actualization the United States of Biafra.
“What has brought us here today is the dark cloud that is gathering. In 1967, we did not ask for war, war was imposed on us and millions of our people were killed. Our properties were destroyed and so many people until today are carrying the scars of that imposed war.
“Our people have not gone to Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Borno to ask that land be forcefully given to us or that our resources should be used to give us properties in the north.
“But northern organizations and northern individuals have come up to say we must surrender our land to them to create colonies on our land. Are you going to allow that?
“We will not surrender one grain of sand of our sacred land to anybody. We will stand on our land and wait for you to come and carry out your threat and inshallah by the grace of God we will defeat you.
“We have heard that you have called your people to come back home. They should all go, we will assist them to leave (because) this is what we have been looking for all along.
“We call on our people, Igbo, Ibibio, Ikwerre, Ijaw return back home. If anything happens to you and this coward spines on you, you would have yourself to blame. We would not continue to risk our integrity and our pride because of you, return home now.
“We extend a hand of fellowship to our brothers in the middle belt who are suffering the same pain and deprivation as we do. We are with you in your hours of grief and pain and we will stand with you to the end.
“To our Yoruba brothers in Afenifere, and the leader of Afenifere whose daughter has been gruesomely murdered by this Gambari invaders. We condole with you but this is the price we have to pay to wake up.”
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