Edo State INEC Office Ravaged By Flood

A very heavy flooding that occured in  Edo State on Saturday rendered many homeless and devoid of their properties.

One of the worst affected places was the Edo State Headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

A part of the INEC building’s perimeter fencing got collapsed after two hours of very massive downpour, with waters full of mud, pushed into the building, rendering vehicles, files card reading machines and computers all soaked.

Meanwhile, the card readers have started to function again after being exposed to air and with no important registration data lost, as stated by the  state’s INEC boss.

“The registration data were not affected because officials had forwarded those that had been concluded to the national headquarters in Abuja, while ongoing collations were being backed up or shared with registration points at local government level.”

“Remember we had completed the first quarter of continuous voter registration in July and the information had been backed up as well as shared with INEC HQ in Abuja,”  Mr Obo Effanga, Edo State resident electoral commissioner said on Sunday.

“The current CVR information are shared daily between the registration points in the LGAs and the state headquarters and a comprehensive data compiled and shared at the end of each week.”

“These information are safe,” he added.

Effanga, while noting that the destruction could could have been more if the flooding happened on a weekday, said the volume of water had receded significantly and the premises are now becoming “fairly accessible” as at Sunday evening.

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Despite the incident, very important activities did not stop in the office, and staff have been urged to report for work Monday, Effanga stated.

“We will “do an assessment of what is lost in each unit and make arrangements for any remedial actions,” he added.

The Saturday flooding was the nadir of a week of heavy downpour that destroyed several communities in the often dreaded annual rainy season.

The rain had started on Monday in Etsako Central Local Government Area, about 180 kilometres Northeast of Benin City, rendering thousands homeless.

Governor Godwin Obaseki had made  appeals to residents to stay away from areas that are prone to flooding and assured them of preventive measures being put in place by his administration.

Edo State has been a victim of heavy flooding on a regular basis since the state began experiencing its annual rainfall at the end of February.

In July, the federal government approved the release of a sum of N1.6 billion in financial support to Edo and 15 other states that were affected by severe weather conditions.

The money was drawn from the ecological fund, the government said.

Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, had made predictions that the state would experience extended rainfall well beyond October 4, when majority of the states are expected to have a stoppage of the heavy downpour.

  The Independent National Electoral Commission are responsible for the handling of elections in the nation, hence have to ensure the safety of equipments and machines across all its headquarters in the federation, in the face of abrupt weather conditions and other natural problems.

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