The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC said it has replaced and reconfigured the 198 Smart Card Readers that were on Friday burnt in its office in lbesikpo Asutan Local Government, Area of Akwa-Ibom State.

The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee Festus Okoye, in a statement issued in Abuja said that in spite of the incident, polls in the state would proceed as scheduled.

He said that the commission witnessed a fire incident its office, which occurred in the early hours of Friday.

He said that several sensitive and non-sensitive materials for Saturday‘s Governorship and State House of Assembly elections were destroyed including 198 Smart Card Readers, the printed Register of Voters, 13 generating sets as well as several Voting Cubicles and office equipment were destroyed by the fire.

Okoye said that though the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained, a report had been made to the law enforcement agencies and the Fire Service.

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP has assured Nigerian women that it would continue to work towards removing gender imbalance and discrimination.

The Director General, NAPTIP Julie Okah-Donli, gave the assurance in a statement in commemoration of the 2019 International Women’s Day. She said that the agency had taken steps to ensure that victims of human trafficking, who were mostly women, were adequately rehabilitated.

Okah-Donli described the theme of this year’s celebration which is “Balance for Better’’ is apt considering the roles of women in the country.

She said that NAPTIP under her watch had rescued more than 20,000 victims of human trafficking, emphasising that most of the victims were women.

The Director-General assured that NAPTIP would continue to implement actions and policies that would enhance a balanced and better life for Nigerian women.