The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has deployed a state-of-the-art fire engine as a way of tackling arson and fire outbreaks at its facilities.
LEADERSHIP reports that out of the 42 attacks on commission’s facilities nationwide, 18 incidents resulted from arson and three more by a combination of arson and vandalism.
INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while speaking at the deployment of the new fire engine at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja by the Federal Fire Service (FFS) on Monday, said the demonstration of support from the security agencies was coming on the eve of the resumption of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) nationwide for the next three weeks.
Yakubu noted that the commission had earlier assured Nigerians that it would conclude work on the expansion of voter access to polling units and make the new polling units available to citizens ahead of the CVR exercise.
‘’I am glad to report that we have accomplished this task for the first time in 25 years. A comprehensive list of the new polling units will be published next week. Similarly, details of the locations of the registration centres and the procedure for the commencement of online registration will also be made available after a series of regular consultative meetings with stakeholders next week,’’ he said.
On the incessant attacks on the commission’s facilities, Yakubu recalled that the commission convened an emergency meeting of ICCES last week at which the security agencies renewed their determination to collaborate more with the commission to address the challenge beyond the routine protection of INEC assets and the security of its officials, voters, observers, the media, candidates and their agents during elections.
He said for its part, “the Federal Fire Service offered to deploy additional state-of-the-art fire engine to the INEC headquarters to complement the two existing trucks.
‘’At the same time, it directed its state offices to take additional protective measures around other INEC facilities nationwide. Today’s inauguration of the new fire engine is another affirmation of the support to the Commission from the Federal Fire Service whose personnel, already deployed permanently to the commission, will continue to operate and maintain the fire engines and other fire fighting equipment installed by INEC.’’