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Hoodlums Set Another INEC Office On Fire In Enugu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in the Igboeze-South local government Area of Enugu State was on Sunday gutted by fire.

Romanus Ezekwueme, the chief security officer (CSO) of the local government, confirmed the incident to reporters on Monday.

“I was on duty with some neighbourhood security around 11 p.m. on Sunday when we saw the flame coming out from the INEC office and immediately rushed to the scene.

“We broke the gate of the INEC office because it was locked, only to see that fire had started from the storeroom in the INEC building.

“We immediately made a distress call to Nsukka and Udenu fire service who came and helped us to quench the fire,” Mr Ezekwueme said.

The CSO said the intervention of the firemen prevented the fire from spreading to other parts of the building.

“It is only the store in the INEC building that was completely razed down by the fire,” he said.

The Chairman of Igboeze-South Local Council, Andy Omeje also confirmed the fire incident and thanked the fire-fighters for their quick response.

“We thank the fire service for their intervention that prevented the fire from spreading to other rooms in the building.

“When I was called last night that the INEC building was on fire, I rushed to the local government secretariat where the building is located, I was there till the fire was quenched before I left,” he said.

Mr Omeje, however, expressed concern that INEC officials had continued to deny security men access to the compound at night by locking up the gate.

“This is to know when hoodlums strike so that they can work together.

“Last night, when the fire incident started, it was difficult for the neighbourhood security to gain access to the INEC compound; they had to force the gate open in order to help to stop the fire,” he said.

Lorretta Uroko, the INEC electoral officer in Igboeze-South, confirmed the incident but declined to make further comment.

Also when contacted, Okwudili Ohaa, the Enugu State chief fire officer said the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained.

Newsmen could not immediately get a police reaction to the incident as the police spokesperson in Enugu, Daniel Ndukwe did not respond to calls made to his telephone line.

Newsmen recalled that the INEC office in Obollo-Afor, Udenu Local Government Area was razed on May 13. And on May 16, INEC headquarters in Enugu was attacked, while vehicles and part of the building were razed.

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