Over 5,000 smart card readers are said to have been destroyed in the fire that engulfed the head office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akure, Thursday.
Confirming this on Friday, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of INEC in the state, Amb. Rufus Akeju told newsmen that the inferno started at about 7:30pm after the office had been closed for the day.
According to him, 5,141 smart card readers were destroyed in the fire.
Mr Akeju stressed that things could have been worse, had it not been for the timely intervention of the men of the Ondo State Fire Service, Federal Fire Service, and fire service officials from Ilesa, Osun State.
At the time of reporting, the actual cause of the fire is yet unknown, but the REC assured that appropriate agencies are already investigating the incident.
The Commissioner also stated that the incident will not affect the coming election in the state, stressing that necessary arrangements are being put in place to replace the burnt materials.
The fire outbreak on Thursday comes only a few weeks to the October 10 governorship election in the state.
INEC’s Commissioner in charge of Information and Voters Education, Festus Okoye, told journalists at the scene of the incident that the fire affected the Information and Communication Technology section of the Commission.
Speaking further on the damaged materials, Mr Okoye revealed that about 1000 card readers delivered to INEC from Osun State were caught up in the flames alongside over 4000 card readers belonging to INEC in Ondo State.
He, however, assured that the inferno will not lead to the postponement of the polls.
Troops Neutralise Bandits, Rescue Kidnap Infant In Doka Village In Katsina State
In its efforts towards ridding the North-West zone of banditry and other criminality, troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have neutralized bandits, rescued kidnapped infant in Doka village in Katsina State.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, issued to pressmen on Friday.
In continuation of their aggressive clearance operation against criminal elements across the North West zone, on 24 September 2020, based on credible Information on bandits attack in Unguwar Doka village of Faskari LGA of Katsina State, gallant troops of Opeartion SAHEL SANITY responded swiftly and immediately mobilized to the general area where they successfully cleared the village of the marauders to the admiration of the locals. During the encounter, troops successfully neutralized 21 bandits while others escaped with gunshot wounds into the forest as evident by the trails of blood along the criminals’ escape route.
In the aftermath of the decisive encounter, the gallant troops successfully rescued 3 kidnapped victims including an 8 months old baby who have been in the custody of the criminals for more than 23 days. During the exploitation phase of the operation, the gallant troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, one AK 47 magazine and 3 Motorcycles from the fleeing bandits.
Regrettably, resulting from the encounter with the bandits, one gallant officer and 2 soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice while 2 other soldiers were wounded in action and are currently receiving medical treatment in a military medical facility and responding positively. The fearless troops have continued to pursue the bandits into the forest and dominating the general areas with aggressive fighting patrols to deny them any respite.
Consequently, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY are commended for their resilience and commitment to duty. They are further urged not to rest on their oars until the Northwest zone is completely rid of all criminal elements. The good people of the North-West zone are once again assured of troops’ commitment to the safety of lives and properties within the zone. They are also encouraged to continue to avail troops with timely and credible information that will assist in the conduct of operations to rout the criminal elements.
Nigeria Records 111 New COVID-19 Cases
Nigeria on Wednesday recorded 111 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases confirmed to 57,724.
In a late-night tweet, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) noted that the new cases were reported from 12 states of the federation, including Lagos where 31 cases were recorded.
Other states with new cases include Gombe (31), Kaduna (18), FCT (15), Rivers (14), Imo (3), Kwara (3), Oyo (3), Bayelsa (2), Edo (1), and Osun (1).
The NCDC report shows that 48,985 recovered patients have been discharged while 1,102 deaths have been recorded so far.
Over N10 billion worth of palliatives to be distributed
Wednesday’s NCDC report comes only a few hours after the Federal Government announced that it has commenced the distribution of palliatives worth N10.9 billion to households and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises.
President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed the new move on Tuesday while delivering a speech via video-message, on the first day of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly Debate.
According to him, the disbursement of the sum is part of efforts to reduce the suffering of Nigerians imposed by the COVID-19.
“In order to mitigate its impact on Nigerians, our administration has commenced the disbursement of the sum of N10.9 Billion to households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises as palliatives,” he said.
Speaking further, the president restated Nigeria’s commitment to working with other member states to promote the well-being of citizens.
“I should also state that Nigeria is committed to working with the other Member States in the spirit of global cooperation and solidarity to promote human health and general well-being.
“Nigeria will continue to partner with the WHO and some countries to ensure accelerated development and manufacturing, as well as the uninhibited supply of safe and effective Coronavirus vaccines to all,” he said.
In addition, President Buhari noted that the government has established a N500 billion fiscal stimulus package and sustained delivery of humanitarian and social interventions to poor and vulnerable households, while our Central Bank has launched a N3.5 trillion-stimulus package to boost manufacturing and facilitate import substitution
Army Eliminate Top Boko Haram Commanders, Others
The Defence Headquarters has said that Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have eliminated top commanders and destroyed several terrorist camps at the Lake Chad Basin in recent encounters in the northeast.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche disclosed this on Thursday in a statement in Abuja.
He explained that In continuation of the aggressive clearance operation against terrorism and other sundry crimes in the North East, troops of Army Super Camp Malumfatori at the Lake Chad Basin conducted massive clearance operations.
According to Enenche, the successful operation led to the destruction of several identified terrorists’ camps and hideouts located at Tunbun Gini, Tunbun Nbororo, Tunbun Kayoma, Tunbun Kaza, Tunbun Fulani at the fringes of Lake Chad in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State.
“Several top BHT/ISWAP terrorists commanders were killed during the successful operation including Abu Usman, Alhaji Shettima, Modu Mainok, Bukar Gana, Abu Summayya, Amir Taam and Amir Kuraish among others”.
The Army General stresed that the Armed Forces of Nigeria are working together with other security agencies are highly committed to ending the insurgency and other security challenges in the country.
He said, “While the good people of the North East are once again assured of troop’s commitment to the safety of lives and property within the zone, they are also encouraged to continue to avail the troops with timely and credible information that will assist them in the conduct of their operations”.
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