By Oluwafemi Ojo
Akure – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ondo State Chapter, has frowned at the fire outbreak that engulfed a container at the Akure office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Thursday night.
The party noted that it received the news of the fire in a container with no fewer than 5,000 card reader machines with great disappointment.
The party’s reaction is contained in a statement made available to newsmen by its State Publicity Secretary, Mr Kennedy Peretei, on Friday in Akure.
Peretei, in the statement said that INEC had questions to answer to the people of the state especially when governorship election is less than a month away.
The statement wanted to know if INEC did not have an internal mechanism to curtail fire outbreaks in its office and whether the metal container housing the card reader machines was connected to electricity
“If so, was the electricity supply not put off after the official close of work at 5.00pm?
“Where were the security officers on duty at the time the fire started and why was it that fire engulfed container housing over 5,000 card reader machine within few minutes?
“All these questions are important for INEC to answer as we cannot afford to go into an election in the next 30 days with a compromised system,” it said.
The statement said that the party noted the comment of some INEC officials that the Oct. 10, election would not be affected by the development.
“But this is not enough from a Commission whose existence is being funded by tax payers money.’’
The statement demanded in detail the full report of the cause(s) of the inferno and, when established, “those culpable must be sanctioned’’.
It also reminded INEC that the people of Ondo State would not accept any excuse from the Commission if complaints arose of non functionality of card reader machines during the forthcoming election.
“We want to believe that INEC will come to equity with clean hands and play the role of an unbiased umpire during and after the election,’’ it added.