8 January 2013

Nigeria: Fire Outbreak At INEC Headquarters

Photo: Vanguard
Fire guts INEC headquarters

Fire Monday destroyed a section of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in Abuja.

The fire, which gutted the office of the Director of Voters' Registry, Mr. Emmanuel Akeem, started at about 11.a.m. and was put out by fire fighters from the Federal and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Fire Services before it could do more damage.

INEC Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Emmanuel Umenger, told THISDAY that the fire did not cause much damage and that it had no effect on the activities and operations of the commission.

"The architectural design of the commission has made it impossible for the fire to extend beyond the next office. The only damage caused by the fire outbreak was the personal effects of the director and the furniture in his office," Umenger said.

Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, also confirmed to THISDAY that the incident would not affect any of the operations of the commission.

According to Idowu, "there was a fire outbreak, but it has since been contained by the men of the fire service. The fire, though unfortunate, will in no way affect the operations and activities of the commission."

Head of Abuja Operation Office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ishaya Chonoko, who confirmed the incident in a statement, said the timely response of rescue officers stopped the fire from spreading to other buildings.

"So far, only an office (Office of the Director of Registry) was affected. There was no record of casualty because of the swift response to the distress call. The INEC office is behind the office of the NEMA in Maitama, Abuja," he stated.

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