Fire Razes INEC Office In Akwa Ibom

The INEC office in Essien Udim Local Government Area was gutted by fire on May 2, 2021.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Essien Udim Local Government Area has been gutted by fire.

INEC Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a statement issued on Sunday.

He said INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini, reported that the inferno occurred in the early hours of today.

“Our security guard on duty escaped unhurt but the destruction to the building and properties therein was extensive,” the statement partly read.

“Items destroyed include 345 ballot boxes, 135 voting cubicles, megaphones, water tanks and office furniture.

“The police, which have also been battling with attacks on its facilities and personnel in the area, is aware of the incident and has commenced an investigation.”

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Okoye recalled that on the eve of the 2019 general elections, the newly constructed prototype LGA office in Ibesikpo Asutan was burnt down while two more offices of the Commission in Mkpat Enin and Eastern Obolo LGAs were bombed.

The INEC National Commissioner lamented that the recent attack on the electoral umpire after a recently concluded inventory of material.

He regretted that the ugly incident is coming as the electoral body prepares for the conduct of the 2023 general elections.

Okoye added, “If unchecked, these attacks may constitute a setback on the Commission’s preparations, including the ongoing conversion of Voting Points to Polling Units, the forthcoming Continuous Registration of Voters (CVR) exercise and the conduct of polls.

“Nevertheless, the Commission wishes to assure Nigerians that we will leave no stone unturned to recover from the  incident in Akwa Ibom State as we continue to prepare for all electoral activities.”

Gunmen Attack Governor Uzodinma’s House In Imo

 

Gunmen have attacked the country home of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma in Omuma, Oru East Local Government Area of the state

They were said to have invaded the governor’s village house in the early hours of Saturday, before torching it.

The Commissioner of Information in the state, Declan Emelumba, confirmed the attack to Channels Television via a telephone conversation.

 

He however explained that the attack was repelled by a combined team of security operatives attached to the house.

“Gallant security operatives this morning repelled an attack on the Omuma country home of the governor of Imo State, Sen Hope Uzodimma,” he said via a statement.

READ ALSO: 50 Suspects Arrested Over Imo Attacks, Says Uzodinma

 

A photo combination of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma and his country home in Omuma, Oru East Local Government Area of the state.

 

“At about 9 am today, Saturday, April 24th, a group of hoodlums numbering about 15 driving in a motorcade of three vehicles accompanied by a tipper loaded with used tyres, stormed the country home of the governor in Omuma,  Oru East  LGA and attempted to burn down the house.

 

“However, vigilant security operatives attached to the Governor’s house successfully repelled the attack and consequently minimised the damage they had planned to unleash.

“In the crossfire that ensued a few casualties were recorded.  Preliminary investigation suggests that the foiled attack may have been politically sponsored.”

The commissioner noted that security agencies have been asked to investigate the incident, promptly apprehend the sponsors and their agents and bring them to justice

Although it could not be ascertained if there was any loss of life, reports say two security operatives were killed during the attack.

 

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but sources alleged that the attackers are suspected members of the Eastern Security Network of IPOB.

According to eyewitnesses, one security detail in the compound was shot in the process.

The attack comes barely 24 hours after Governor Uzodinma accused politicians of funding banditry to run down the present administration.

Briefing reporters shortly after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja, the governor condemned the recent attacks by armed bandits on communities, especially in the northern part of the country, challenged the security agencies to urgently reveal the names of their sponsors.

He also condemned the call for secession, stressing that criminals particularly in Imo were a combination of individuals within and outside the state.

Imo State has been experiencing series of attacks lately.

Fire Guts INEC Data Processing Unit In Kano

The Kano State Office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was on Tuesday gutted by fire.

The data processing unit was burnt down to ashes while the main building is still intact as men of the Fire Service tried to put the fire out.

Men of the Fire Service put out the fire at the INEC office in Kano

Although the cause of the fire has not been ascertained.

A staff of the commission assured that all hope is not lost as the burnt data can be retrieved from the national headquarters in Abuja.

An investigation is still ongoing to know the cause of fire and measures taken to forestall a repeat of such incident.

A photo of a burnt section

UPDATED: Seven Confirmed Dead In Benue Tanker Explosion

The scene of a tanker explosion in Oshigbudu, Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State on April 18, 2021.

 

 

Seven persons have been confirmed dead following a tanker explosion in Oshigbudu, Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State.

The Executive Secretary of the Benue State Emergency Management Agency, Dr Emmanuel Shior confirmed this to Channels Television on Sunday in Makurdi, the state capital.

He said about 50 houses were destroyed from the information he got the local government chairman, adding that a detailed assessment would be carried out tomorrow when he visits the scene of the explosion.

Shior conveyed the condolences of the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom who he said, has directed for a comprehensive audit of the fire incident and report back.

READ ALSO: Seven Killed, Many Injured As Suspected Herdsmen Attack Benue Community

He also commiserated with those who lost their loved ones and properties to the fire.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports and an indigene of the area, Ojotu Ojeme, had confirmed the incident via his Facebook post.

He also commiserated with the victims of the explosion, calling on the government at all levels and spirited individuals to help residents of the area.

“The fire inferno at Oshugbudu in Agatu local Government, my local government of origin today, 18-04-2021 which has claimed so many lives and destroyed properties yet to be quantified, is the Chief of all the calamities that have fallen us this year,” he said.

“As I pray  God to comfort the good people of Agatu and most especially those directly involved, over the lost, I wish to call on Government at all levels and spirited individuals to come to our aids in order to drastically reduce the effect of the disaster on the people. Once again may God grant us the fortitude to bear the huge loss.”

This comes amid an amateur video sent by an eyewitness which showed many houses, shops and properties were also destroyed in the inferno.

Agatu local government area is some four hours drive from Makurdi, the Benue State capital and help from this axis is unlikely as the fire is believed to have gone out of control.

Many residents of the area called for help from relevant authorities to come to their rescue as the only fire station is in Otukpo Local Government Area, a one hour thirty minutes drive from the scene of the fire.

 

 

Buhari Mourns Children Killed In Niger School Fire

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned over 20 schoolchildren killed in a fire incident in Niamey, Niger Republic.

Buhari in a statement issued on Friday by his spokesman Garba Shehu, commiserated with the government and people of the Niger Republic, describing the tragedy as extremely terrific.

“On behalf of the government and people of Nigeria, we commiserate with our brotherly neighbours on this tragic loss,” a message to President Mohammed Bazoum read.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families and communities affected by this unfortunate incident, wishing quick recovery to those who were injured.”

READ ALSO: How 20 Children Died In Niger School Inferno – Witnesses

No fewer than 20 children died on April 13 after they were trapped in a fire at a school in the country’s capital.

According to eyewitnesses, the fire started late on Tuesday afternoon when the children were in lessons, many in straw-hut classrooms.

The flames blocked the school gate, so most pupils had to escape over a wall, said a teacher’s union official quoted by Reuters.

Most of those who did not manage to escape were attending the school’s nursery, officials say.

Presidency Denies Report Of Fire Outbreak In Presidential Villa

A file photo of Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu
A file photo of Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu

 

The presidency has dismissed some media reports suggesting that a fire outbreak was recorded inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, said there was no fire within the seat of power.

“I would like to clarify that there was no fire inside the Presidential Villa,” the presidential spokesman said 24 hours after an online medium reported a fire outbreak at the Presidential Villa, causing confusion among workers.

“In the evening of Saturday, March 6, a fire broke out burning shrubs between the outer wire fence and walls surrounding the Villa, precisely in the area between the Villa and the Barracks, towards Asokoro.

“The fire, as being speculated, might have started from a passer-by dropping a burning cigarette. The Federal Fire Service will ascertain the reason for it when they complete their investigation.

“It suffices to say that this bush fire, which started and ended outside the perimeter walls of the Villa, was seamlessly contained by fire stations of the State House and the one nearby from the Federal Fire Service. No loss of life, no loss whatsoever to building and property was recorded.”

Fire Destroys Shops At Kaduna Automobile Market

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.
A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria’s north-west region.

 

Several shops at the popular Jos road auto spare parts market at the Oriapata area in Kaduna State have been gutted by fire.

Although the cause of the fire which began in the early hours of Friday is yet to be ascertained, traders and residents of the area told Channels Television that the fire started from one of the shops which also has some tenants inside the compound, and later spread to nearby shops.

The leadership of the Automobile Spare Parts Dealers Association said the fire outbreak has negatively affected the traders whose goods were lost in the inferno.

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President of the Kaduna Automobile Spare parts Dealers Association, Cyprian Eneje, appealed to the Kaduna State Government to come to the aid of the victims to enable them to start a normal life.

Presently, Kaduna State and other parts of the northern region are experiencing severe harmattan weather.

During this period,  incidents of fire outbreak usually occur either at the markets or in the homes

 

Unease As Fire Engulfs St Anthony Catholic School In Osun

 

Emerging reports suggest that a fire has ravaged St Anthony Catholic School in the Oke Bode Iwo area of Osun State.

At the time of filing this report, it was unclear what led to the fire but eyewitnesses say the inferno started from the science laboratory of the school.

READ ALSO: Three-Year-Old Killed, Houses Destroyed As Fire Guts IDP Camp In Maiduguri

Residents say all efforts to contact the state fire service proved abortive.

More details regarding progress with containing the fire are expected soon.

Four COVID-19 Patients Killed As Fire Engulfs Hospital In Romania

 

At least four people died Friday after a fire broke out in Romania’s main hospital treating Covid-19 patients, officials told AFP.

Three patients were found dead at the Matei Bals hospital in Bucarest and a fourth died despite attempts at resuscitation, state secretary of the Ministry of Interior Raed Arafat told reporters.

The fire reportedly broke out on the ground floor around 5:00am (0300 GMT), said Orlando Schiopu, head of the inspectorate for emergency situations.

Four wards were affected and 102 people had been evacuated and transferred to other hospitals, he added.

Romania is still reeling from a similar tragedy in November when ten people suffering from Covid-19 died in a fire in an intensive care unit of a hospital in the northeastern town of Piatra Neamt.

Five others injured in the fire later died of their injuries.

The prosecutor general has opened an enquiry into the tragedy, while the health ministry has suggested the fire could have been caused by an electrical short circuit.

The incident sparked wider safety warnings in a country marked by crumbling infrastructure and a culture of makeshift repairs.

The country of 19 million is one of the poorest in the European Union and is trying to manage the Covid-19 pandemic with a dilapidated and understaffed health system.

AFP

Fire Guts Houses, Shops And Goods Worth Millions In Gwarinpa, Abuja

Traders take stock of their losses at the market in Gwarinpa. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

Four houses and six shops have been razed in a fire that gutted the Gwarinpa building materials market in the nation’s capital on Thursday.

Eyewitnesses say the fire started from an electrical spark around midnight and burned for over three hours before it was put out by officials of the Federal Fire Service.

Most of the affected traders say they are still taking stock of the items destroyed by the inferno but it is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of naira.

As they recount their losses, they have also called on the government to come to their aid.

This comes just days after a similar incident occurred at the popular Kugbo furniture market following what was believed to be an electrical fault.

 

See more photos below.

 

World Facing ‘Catastrophic’ Warming – UN

A firefighter conducts back-burning measures to secure residential areas from encroaching bushfires in the Central Coast, some 90-110 kilometres north of Sydney. 
Saeed KHAN / AFP

 

The world is on course for a “catastrophic” temperature rise this century, the United Nations said Thursday as it confirmed that 2020 rivalled 2016 as the hottest year on record.

The relentless pace of climate change is destroying lives, said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as the UN’s World Meteorological Organization said 2011-2020 had been the warmest decade recorded.

2020 “rivalled 2016 for the top spot”, according to the WMO’s consolidation of five leading international datasets.

The La Nina cool phase of the Pacific Ocean surface temperatures cycle “put a brake on the heat only at the very end of the year,” the WMO said.

The UN weather agency said the warmest three years on record were 2016, 2019 and 2020, and the differences between them in average global temperatures were “indistinguishably small”.

It said the average global temperature in 2020 was about 14.9 degrees Celsius — a figure 1.2 C above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) level.

The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change calls for capping global warming at well below 2 C above the pre-industrial level, while countries will pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 C.

The WMO believes there is at least a one in five chance of the average global temperature temporarily exceeding the 1.5 C mark by 2024.

Peace with nature task

“The confirmation by the WMO that 2020 was one of the warmest years on record is yet another stark reminder of the relentless pace of climate change, which is destroying lives and livelihoods across our planet,” said UN chief Guterres.

“We are headed for a catastrophic temperature rise of 3-5 C this century.

“Making peace with nature is the defining task of the 21st century. It must be the top priority.”

The WMO said the standout weather features of 2020 were the sustained heat and wildfires in Siberia and the low Arctic sea ice extent, plus the record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season.

“The global signal from human-induced climate change is now as powerful as the force of nature,” said WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas.

“Heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere remain at record levels and the long lifetime of carbon dioxide, the most important gas, commits the planet to future warming.”

La Nina’s 2021 impact

La Nina is expected to continue into early to mid-2021.

The effects of La Nina — and El Nino at the opposite end of the cycle — upon average global temperatures are typically strongest in the second year of the event, said the WMO.

The extent to which La Nina’s cooling effects in 2021 may temporarily diminish the overall long-term warming trend remains to be seen, the organisation said.

The WMO will publish its State of the Climate in 2020 final report in March.

In figures from the US space agency NASA — one of the five datasets consolidated by the WMO — 2020 was hotter than 2016 by less then a tenth of a degree.

Last year was “a very striking example of what it’s like to live under some of the most severe effects of climate change”, said NASA research meteorologist Lesley Ott.

Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, added: “The natural processes Earth has for absorbing carbon dioxide released by human activities — plants and the ocean — just aren’t enough to keep up with how much carbon dioxide we’re putting into the atmosphere.”

Offices Burnt As Fire Engulfs Part Of Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters

 

There has been a fire outbreak at the Immigration Service headquarters in Abuja, on Sunday morning, affecting some offices.

The Service confirmed the incident via its Twitter handle, adding that the fire has been contained by the Federal Fire Service and other agencies around the airport.

While the cause of the fire is under investigation, they have assured the public that the incident would not affect their services.

Efforts to get across to the public relations officer, to help gain access into the building, proved futile as he was not available to take his calls.

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