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INEC To Go Ahead With Akwa Ibom Polls, Replaces Damaged Card Readers



The Independent National Electoral Commission lNEC has vowed to go ahead with Saturday’s Governorship and State Assembly elections in Akwa Ibom State despite the suspected arson attack that destroyed 198 smart card readers in one of the local government areas of the state.

The commission in a statement late on Saturday said it had replaced the 198 smart card readers destroyed in its lbesikpo Asutan Local Government Area office in the State.

A statement issued by the National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voted Education Committee, Festus Okoye assured that the fire did not consume the ballot papers to be used in the election.

The statement read in part:

 “While we do not at this point know the cause of the fire, a report has been made to the law enforcement agencies and the Fire Service. We are liaising closely with both agencies to investigate and ascertain the cause of the fire and if found to be a deliberate act, we will ensure diligent and vigorous prosecution of those responsible. 

198 Card Readers Damaged Have Been Replaced

“Several sensitive and non-sensitive materials for tomorrow’s‘s Governorship and State House of Assembly elections were destroyed including 198 Smart Card Readers, the printed Register of Voters, 13 Generators as well as several Voting Cubicles and office equipment. 

“Fortunately, the ballot papers and result sheets for the elections were not affected and are intact. Acting timeously, the Commission has been able to replace and reconfigure all the destroyed Smart Card Readers and reprinted the Register of Voters. With the replacement and the salvage of other items, we are pleased to announce that the election will proceed as scheduled. All registered voters in the Local Government Area are therefore requested to turn up to cast their votes between 8am and 2pm tomorrow”.

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