Thugs nearly killed me for defending my vote, laments Col. Obi
A retired army chief, Col. Chinyere Obi, has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Alkali Baba Usman to intervene and ensure that those who brutalised her during Saturday’s elections are arrested and prosecuted.
Col. Obi, who made the call while narrating her ordeal in Owerri, yesterday, alleged that political thugs beat and injured her for attempting to prevent them from rigging the election.
She also criticised officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security personnel for allegedly allowing themselves to be used by political parties to compromise the election process in her area and across Imo State.
According to her, “the last election was unbelievable. It was as if the ruling party declared war on the people, particularly in Imo State. I don’t know where we are heading from here. That means more people will die during the governorship election if something is not done urgently. Unfortunately, elections in Nigeria have become a do or die affair. I am crying for Nigeria.”
Recounting her ordeal in the hands of the said thugs, she said: “I joined the Army in 1979 and retired a few years ago. I am currently 74 years old. I don’t understand Nigeria anymore. I don’t know whether we are fighting a war or something.
“I left Abuja where I reside to the East for the purpose of encouraging my people, especially the youths to join efforts towards rebuilding Nigeria by participating massively in the election.
“But last Saturday in my own village, Dike-Nafa in Ideato South Local Council, politicians sent thugs to our polling unit, to come and obstruct the process.
“In my presence, a man referred to as the apex leader was giving INEC officials $200. One of INEC officials was even asking him where he would change the dollars.
“ I also observed that when the elderly women and men say they want to vote for the Labour Party, the INEC staff will hold their hands and stamp it in APC. At that point, I challenged them. I asked them why they were doing that? That people should be allowed to vote their choices. As I was talking, the ward chairman came from behind me and said I should get out.
“From that moment, those thugs from the Local Council descended on me. They beat me up, used a bottle to inflict injuries on my body. You can see, there is a hole in my leg, I was bleeding and rushed to hospital. Even I am just coming back from Federal Medical Centre, Owerri , where I went to treat the wounds. I am diabetic.
“I want you to ask them what I did wrong to deserve the beating, injuries and humiliation. At 74, can I fight them? All I want is justice and that is why I have reported the matter to the appropriate authorities, expecting their intervention.”