The head office of the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KADSIECOM), less than a month to the state’s local government election has been gutted by fire on Saturday April 21, 2018.
The fire was said to have started around 10am but as at 11:24am when our correspondent visited the scene, the top floor of the building was seen in flames, with fire fighters seen battling to put out the inferno as trucks of the state’s fire fighting unit were seen driving in.
The chairperson of the Commission, Dr. (Mrs) Saratu Binta Dikko-Audu, who addressed journalists shortly after the fire was contained, said all the offices on the 2nd floor of the two storey building were affected.
The offices, located in the second floor were those of the Chairman as well as legal and finance departments and conference room. She said “no live was lost, and there were no injuries recorded. At the time the fire started, the members of the Commission were in an emergency meeting in the Chairman’s office”
Men of joint security operatives were seen on ground controlling the crowd that converged at the structure located on Sokoto Road in Kaduna metropolis.
As at the time of filing this report, the cause of the fire was unknown but staff of the KADSIECOM said that journalists would be briefed later as they were barred from gaining access to the building.
A source who was around when the fire started, said that senior executives of the commission were in a meeting when the fire started.
“We were in a meeting when one of the commissioners alerted us that there was a fire outbreak,” the source who pleaded anonymity said.
An eyewitness in the area said that if the fire fighters had arrived on time, the fire would have been put off, but criticized them for showing up late.
If the elections go ahead as scheduled, Kaduna would be blazing the trail not only in Nigeria, but the entire West Africa as first to conduct elections using the electronic voting machine.