Less than a month to the Ondo State Governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has ordered the replacement of card readers burnt in its Akure office.
The commission said 6,000 smart card readers will be transferred from its Oyo State office for the conduct of the October 10 poll in Ondo.
This newspaper reported how electricity surge set off a fire that burnt 5,141 smart cards readers. The ICT unit of the commission was also affected by the fire outbreak.
While some political parties suspected a foul play, INEC said the incident would not affect the election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that INEC’s spokesperson, Festus Okoye, said on Thursday in Akure that an order had been given for replacement from Oyo State.
“As at today, we have given an order that all the smart card readers in Oyo state office should be moved to Ondo. They have over 6,000 smart card readers in Oyo and so we are not going to have any problems reconfiguring them and using them for the elections,” he was quoted.
He argued that purchasing new card readers will take another six months, hence, the need for replacement from a state where election is not holding.
“We have recovered quickly and we are proceeding with the Ondo State election, nothing will stop the conduct of that election.”
There are 17 candidates contesting in the governorship election but there are only three major contenders.
They are Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).