Elections deaths: Catalogue of killings in place of voting
Without a doubt, the checkered 2019 general elections represents a new low in the country’s electoral process, as well as a pointer that the country is still eons away from getting that aspect of national life right. This lack of progress is not a function of lack of adequate human capital or resources, but a clear illustration of how governments/ruling parties are unable to separate their ambitions from the running of institutions such as the military.
The over militarisation of the electoral process has resulted in unnecessary deaths, some of which are yet to be accounted for.
RIVERS State probably recorded the highest number of election-related deaths in the country in the last three weeks, even though the electoral umpire has suspended the announcement of the result of the gubernatorial/state assembly elections.
Unfortunately, whichever way the impasse is resolved, over 40 families that lost their loved ones during the polls would remain sore for long, if not mentally scarred for life.
Some of the communities where the grief would remain for long in their psyche include Abonnema, Akinima, Luawii and Bori.For ages, Abonnema, the Headquarters of Akuku-Toru Local Council has been considered an island of serenity in the state. But the unexpected outbreak of violence, which led to the death of many during the Presidential and National Assembly elections, has shattered the peace and tranquility of the usually peaceful Abonnema.
On that day, prominent Abonnema chief, Prince Bob-Manuel, left home at 7am armed with his Permanent Voter Card (PVC) in his pocket at about 7am. As he ventured into the major road between Manuel and Jack compound, he noticed a crowd of agitated youths, went passed them and veered into a relative’s house. He barely sat down when gunshots rent the air.
Bob-Manuel told The Guardian that as the gunshots continued, 27-year-old father of three, Mr. Kalatubo Georgewill, rushed out from Melford Graham Douglas house where he worked to go and see his family. He was shot point- blank by a solider.“As the army men, who were coming from Jack’s compound axis saw Kalatubo as he was about to cross the road to Manuel’s compound, one of them shot him.
Thinking he was dead, they abandoned him in the pool of his blood,” Bob-Manuel recalled. Kalatubo’s aged mother, Mrs. Tomba Georgewill explained that after the sporadic gunshots, which lasted for about four hours, her son was carried home by his siblings.
“When he was shot, he did not die immediately. Because of the army’s siege that lasted till Monday, there was no bus to take him to the hospital outside Abonnema. He died on Sunday here in our family house. It was people who knew him that notified us that he had been shot by the army. My son was not involved in politics, he was a builder.”
Totally devastated by the tragic incident, Mrs. Georgewill is now appealing to the state government to fend for her grandchildren, as well as cater for their education.Miss Soibifaa Don-Pedro, who lost her brother, 24-year-old, Samuel Horsefall, was among INEC ad hoc staff that gathered at the Abonnema Girls Secondary School on February 23, awaiting the distribution of election materials. As they waited, political hirelings of both the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress (APC) clashed and unleashed hell on the community.
Soibifaa, who left her brother at home as she headed for Registration Area Centre (RAC) that morning expressed surprise that despite heavy presence of security forces at the RAC, violence still erupted between PDP and APC supporters, a development that eventually marred the distribution of election materials.
“At the RAC, there was heated argument between APC and PDP supporters. Suddenly we began to hear intense, sporadic gunshots. We ran into a classroom and laid on the floor till everywhere was calm. I later ran home, but my brother was not at home. I changed my cloth and went out in search of him only to find his bullet-ridden, blood-soaked body at Manuel’s compound amongst other lifeless bodies. It was heart-breaking,” she lamented.
The deceased’s grandfather, Mr. Lucky Don-Pedro, who raised (Samuel) after the demise of his father, narrated that he was at Emohua where he was being treated for stroke when a prominent indigene of the community, David Brigss, who knows the affinity he shares with his grandson, visited to break the sad news to him.“He (David Briggs) was instructed by my family not to tell me because of my health because they don’t know how I will respond to the news. I gathered his body was found lying on the ground at Manuel’s compound and that he was shot by the army,” Pa Don-Pedro said.
While asserting that his grandson was not involved in partisan politics such that would warrant him to risk his life, he lamented that even time cannot heal the psychological trauma inflicted on him by the death of his grandson who was awaiting his university admission.
The Tonye’s are grateful to God that their own story did not end in tears.In revealing to The Guardian that her brother is lucky to be alive after a stray bullet by a soldier fractured his right leg, Ms Ibiso Tonye said it was only by divine intervention that her survived the attack and eventual evacuation to Port Harcourt for medical treatment.
“We were all waiting at home for voting to commence by 8am when we saw several PDP supporters barricading the road leading to Manuel’s compound, demanding the release of election materials. Thereafter, we witnessed troops firing live rounds at PDP supporters. It was one of the bullets that struck my brother,” she said.She accused some prominent Abonnema politicians who, in a bid to flex muscles and display their connection to the government at the centre and turned the area into a war zone. She wondered why what should have ordinarily been a police affair turned into a military offensive against community dwellers that were not armed.
“Now that the charade called election is over, the Nigerian Army would have to explain to us who asked for deployment, as well as who gave them the order to shoot. The state and human rights community must investigate circumstances, which necessitated this onslaught against the people of Abonnema because there was no breach of the peace that could have warranted unleashing such level of violence against our people,” she added.
Community leaders claimed that a day after the presidential and National Assembly polls, which was botched in the entire Akuku-Toru Local Council, the soldiers who lost a colleague- a lieutenant went on rampage in the area attacking and vandalising houses.A Red Cross official, Mr. Oboma Ikiriko, told The Guardian that over 40 persons were killed during the election.
Ikiriko who mobilised volunteers to evacuate corpses that littered Abonnema a day after the clash between the Nigerian Army and the youths said the remains of most of the victims were found mutilated beyond recognition inside Abonnema creeks.He stated that because of the military siege that lasted almost 48 hours, some of the corpses were quick to decompose, adding that facial recognition of a corpse not taken care of between 12 to 48 hours would be impossible.
“Because of the tensed situation and lack of funds it was difficult to mobilise people and resources to evacuate the corpses on time. By the time we started, it was difficult to identify badly decomposed bodies. Myself and other medical personnel had to resort to using personal belongings such as sim cards of phones found on the victims to reach their families and friends,” Ikiriko said, adding that “most of the bodies were found by fishermen. Most of the victims sustained bullet wounds before jumping into the creeks. By the time we recovered them, their remains had been mauled by crocodile, fishes and crabs. Relatives of some the victims who hail from neighbouring communities like Ogbakiri that were able to identify loved ones chose to bury them here in Abonnema,” he said.
A few days after the bloodbath, some women protesters dressed in black took to the streets demanding justice, but by this time, the soldiers who left an indelible scar on the community had retreated.One of the protesters, Mrs. Nimi Tom-Manuel, said the entire Abonnema Community now lives in perpetual fear due to the terror that was unleashed on them.
“What we experienced in the elections is horrific. Mothers lost their children and wives lost their husbands. We don’t want army in this community again during election,” she said.The Chairman, Interim Steering Committee of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof Joseph Ajienka, and INC’s Secretary, Mike Zuokomor, have jointly condemned the large-scale militarisation of Ijaw communities in various parts of Rivers and Bayelsa states during the general elections.
They pointed out that having worked hard to eliminate memories of militancy in oil-rich Ijaw ancestral lands almost 19 years ago, it was incumbent on the Federal Government to take heed and urgently bring to order, the state of military siege on these two states.
“The INC therefore calls on the Federal Government to show the will and courage to bring the very serious security situation and democratic infractions in Rivers State, in particular, to an immediate halt. Beyond that, the perpetrators of these crimes, including, politicians, military personnel and their principals must not be shielded. There must be no sacred cows. Justice must be seen to be evenly and unambiguously served,” said INC.
The Rivers State government has set up a committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, to identify those killed, including soldiers, during this contentious elections in Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Council. Governor Nyesom Wike, who made the announcement during a memorial church service in honour of the dead said, “the committee will also identify damaged property affected by the election crisis, so that the Rivers State government will offer the required assistance for their repairs”
The Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Disrael Bob-Manuel, in his remarks said that the Akuku-Toru Local Council Traditional Rulers Council got intelligence that there might be violence during the Presidential and National Assembly elections and took measures to forestall it, but one of the major political parties refused to sign the peace accord.He stated that Abonnema people have learnt the bitter lesson and they would ensure that the ugly incident does not happen again
BY whatever parametres, member of House of Representative representing Lagelu/Akinyele Federal Constituency of Oyo State, Mr. Temitope Olatoye aka Sugar, was the highest-ranking political figure to be consumed by the bloody 2019 general elections.But since being mowed down at Lalupon, after a bullet was fired at his eyeball by his assailants, on Saturday March 9, during the governorship/state assembly polls, different accounts have emerged regarding the circumstances that led to his death.
This controversy has now pitched his family against the State Police Command. While the Police insists that Olatoye’s untimely death was not politically motivated, his immediate family countered saying their bread winner was killed because of his political leaning.
Olatoye has been a regular face in the political circle and was one of the “hard guys” who operated in Abeokuta, Ogun State before relocating back to Ibadan.
The former member of Oyo State House of Assembly, who contested and won election into the House of Representatives, was a former member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) before parting ways with Governor Abiola Ajimobi, after he lost the primary to go to Senate.He thereafter, decamped to African Democratic Party (ADP) that instantly offered him the ticket for Senate, he eventually lost the election.
While the leader of the party in the state, former Governor Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala dropped his governorship ambition for the APC candidate, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu, Olatoye thought otherwise and joined forces with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and worked for the party to emerge victorious.
According to the Assistant Inspector General of Police in Zone 11, Leye Oyebade, and Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Shina Olukolu, Olatoye’s death was in no way connected to the elections. Oyebade said, “We have got a suspect, but we can’t reveal all the details. I was at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan with the Oyo State Commissioner of Police on Saturday. The Chief Medical Director of the UCH was also with us.
“But the incident is not directly connected to the elections going by the venue of the incident and the information we have so far gathered of what happened prior to the incident,” the AIG said.On his part, the commissioner said he got information about the attack on the representative by unknown assailants from the Divisional Police Officer at Iyana Offa, while he was monitoring the elections.
But the elder brother of the deceased, Mr. Olajide Oluwashina Olatoye, better known as “Big Daddy,” cautioned the Police hierarchy against playing politics with his brother’s death.Narrating how the lawmaker was murdered, his elder brother, the older Olatoye, who claimed to be at the scene of the incident said the assailants, numbering over 50, ambushed him, riddled his car with bullets before he was eventually killed.
While thanking the police for been dutiful in trying to fish out his brother’s killers, he pleaded with the government to ensure that the killers are brought to book. He said: “I want to debunk the claims by the AIG and the state Commissioner of Police that the killing of Sugar has nothing to do with politics, that it was just a murder case. No, it is not true.
“With due respect, I think that statement has a political undertone. By the time they killed Sugar, was he in Oja’ba where he went to buy yam? Was he at Bodija where he went to buy beans? It was during the election and he was coming from where he went to perform his civic duties as a good citizen of the country, and as a National Assembly member.“So, his killing has much importance to politics. To us, it was a political murder. So, I am debunking the statement credited to the AIG, with due respect. The killing was obviously politically motivated.
“For some reasons, I know those who killed my junior brother but for security reason, I will not say anything here. I am using this medium to thank the Police that they have been trying with their investigation and trying to arrest the guys that did the job.“We are using this medium to say that, if they claim that the death has no political undertone, I am appealing to the APC-led government to stay clear of this case because the principal actors of those people that killed my brother did the same thing in 2007 to the Late Segun Oladimeji aka Segelu, because he had the political backing of the Late Baba Lamidi Adedibu. The assailants killed my brother in the same town where they killed Segelu, which is Lalupon and again this has happened.
Suspected political thugs on March 23 allegedly shot dead a 25-year-old man identified as Monsuru, in Kudeti area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The ugly incident happened while the former deputy governor of the state, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja was in the vicinity.An eyewitness said, “Monsuru, who just finished his secondary education at St Luke’s College in Molete, Ibadan, was killed by one of the thugs.
Many residents believe the thugs belong to a group called “One Million Boys.”
“Votes were being collated when the assailants came into Lako Compound, Kudeti, the same ward where Ambassador Arapaja voted and they started shooting sporadically killing Monsuru in the process.”It was gathered that trouble started when loyalists of one of the top five political parties in the state started removing the banners and posters of other parties in the vicinity and replacing them with those of their candidates.
ONDO State did not witness any death during the presidential/National Assembly elections, but that clean record was soiled as the state witnessed not less than four deaths during the gubernatorial/state assembly elections. Several others that sustained injuries during the exercise and were assumed dead are, however, still receiving treatments in various hospitals across the state.
Unlike the February 23 polls, the March 9 poll was held in a tensed atmosphere across the 3, 009 polling units as there were rumours of premeditated violence prior to the exercise, especially after the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) posted a poor performance, which saw it lose two Senate and five House of Representative seats.
In Oba Akoko, Akoko South West Council, Ondo North Senatorial District, the atmosphere suddenly got charged when some political thugs attempted to snatch some ballot boxes at the collation centre.As the hoodlums shot sporadically at the collation centre to ward off potential attackers, a gun duel between them and security operatives ensued and led to the death of two of the hoodlums, while another that was badly injured is still being hospitalised.
Of the four people that were reportedly killed in Ore, Odigbo Local Council, in the South Senatorial District, the State Police Command earlier confirmed that only two people died during the election. But the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Odigbo Constituency 1, Mr. Henry Akinriboya, countered the Police, insisting that only one death was recorded in the area, that of Mr. Olumide Dickson, who was shot dead on the spot, by security operatives.
“Only one person died but more than four are people are in critical condition among those that were shot by soldiers,” Akinriboya said, and further alleged that the ruling APC used security operatives to rig the election in Agbabu Ward, Lafe, Likaju and some places without much resistance from the people due to heavy militarisation.
The announcement of result in Odigbo sparked fresh crisis, which led to major roads being barricaded by the youths. A few lives were also allegedly lost there, while some escaped death by the whiskers. One of the survivours, Doherty Okikiola, who was allegedly fired at by security operatives, had a bullet extracted from his chest.He is still in critical condition and in need of financial assistance to undergo a major surgery. Okikiola’s relative, who simply identified herself as Yetunde, told The Guardian that, “the soldiers that shot Okikiola thought that he would die but thank God he survived it, and a bullet has been removed from his body to the glory of God. He was shot directly on the left side of his chest.”
But the command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Femi Joseph, insists that only two people died during the entire elections in the state.“There were skirmishes at Odigbo, but they were brought under control by security agencies. A dead body was later found on the street and investigation is on to know how and who killed the deceased,” Joseph said.
On his part, the Commander, 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, Brig. General James Ataguba, also alleged that the Nigerian Army did not shoot and kill anyone during the polls. Ataguba, who claimed that the military was civil in its approach to the election said, “the only person that died during the fracas in Odigbo, had no bullet wound on him. So, it was not as a result of the shots that were fired, My men did not fire anybody.”
Ibrahim Olalekan, a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) remains one of the most pathetic cases as he lost his life on his way from Agadagba-Obon Community in Ese Odo Local Council after completing election duty. The deceased, who hailed from Ogun State, was a graduate of Accountancy from the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State. He was alleged to have been without a life jacket.
Seven others survived the boat mishap, but sustained injuries, and were taken to a community health centre in Ese-Odo. Until his death, Olalekan served at Herald of Hope Group of Schools in Ojuala, Ese-Odo Local Council.Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who was represented at the burial by the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, condoled with the family and prayed “that Almighty Allah will grant repose of his soul and give the family the fortitude to bear the loss.”
KATSINA State may be President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state, but that did not insulate it from recording a casualty during the general elections as a Corps Assistant I, Umar Aliyu, of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) was killed.Spokesman of the State Police Command, Mr. Gambo Isah, a Superintendent of Police said the NSCDC operative was shot in the chest at the Santar Amadu Village polling unit in Kankara Local Council.He said the gunmen who shot sporadically as they attacked the community, hit the officer on the chest and he died instantly.
KOGI State was in the news for all the wrong reasons in the build up 2019 general election, so the death of no fewer than six persons, including a 19-year-old first time voter was the climax of the gloom that was building up. Youthful Daniel Usman was looking forward to resuming last week at the Federal University, Lokoja, where he had been offered admission to study physics.
But that would never come to pass as he was shot dead by a stray bullet fired by unknown gunmen at Ajetachi Polling Unit in Anyigba, in Dekina Local Council of Kogi State, on February 23, 2019. Still in Ayingba, two persons lost their lives and many others injured when suspected thugs attacked a polling unit during the presidential and National Assembly election.
Another person was also killed at Igalamela-Odolu Local Council during a botched attempt to abduct a member of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Friday Makama, by some men dressed in police uniforms.Shortly after the lawmaker had been whisked away, his supporters went after his abductors and managed to rescue him. And in the course of the rescue operation, a young man was shot. He died shortly after.
The Kogi State Command confirmed three deaths following the crisis that erupted during the presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.Spokesperson of the Kogi State Command, William Aya, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed three deaths in different crises that took place in the state during the presidential and National Assembly elections.
Last Saturday State Assembly elections also recorded three deaths in the same Kogi East Senatorial District, while four others are fighting for their lives. After a peaceful and orderly commencement of the exercise, violence erupted simultaneously across the district during collation of results, as well as during ballot box snatching attempts.
A community leader in Inele, in Olamaboro Local Council, Mr. Abuh Simon was shot in the chest by political thugs after they snatched ballot boxes from nearby Ugojo-Ubalu community. He died on the spot.Two others, James Matthew, and John Agada, who were also shot alongside Simon on the orders of a government appointee, survived the shooting after being rushed to the hospital.
An eyewitness, Mr. ThankGod Onu-Moses, National Chairman, Inele District Development Union (IDDU), said Simon, a father of 13 was shot after he approached the government appointee to find out why thugs that came with him were carting away ballot boxes from two polling units, including – Olamaboro Ward 5, and Ugojo-Ubalu Unit 004.
Also at Atuma in Ankpa Local Council, two persons were allegedly killed while another two, including a woman sustained injuries, as political thugs forcefully hijacked ballot boxes. Thugs who were in police uniforms, invaded Atuma village shooting indiscriminately and in the process killed one person and injured two others, including a woman before snatching the ballot boxes.
The Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Busari, however confirmed that the command recorded only two deaths during the gubernatorial and state House of Assembly election on Saturday.GOVERNOR Seriake Dickson, and members of the Bayelsa State Executive Council were filled with goose bumbs as they listened to chilling accounts of how Government House photographer, Reginald Dei, and the late People Democratic Party (PDP) leader, Seidougha Taribi, were murdered in cold blood by suspected political thug in Nigerian Army uniform, at Oweikorogha, Southern Ijaw Local Council of Bayelsa State during the presidential polls.
While Taribi died on the spot, Dei was recuperating at Federal Medical Centre, only to pass on a week later, after doctors failed to wake him from coma.Also killed during the presidential election, was an APC loyalist from Bassambiri, Kenneth Adebo. He was killed in a cross-fire between PDP and APC hired thugs. Spokesman of the late PDP leader, Temple Igunikeke, said two men whose identities he gave as Koripamo Ogili, and ThankGod Deizigha, led the men in Nigerian Army uniform into Taribi’s residence to carry out the cold-blooded murder.
Igunikeke, who spoke in the presence of the father and widow of the deceased, said that Taribi and Dei were resting in the house after voting to await the outcome of the election when the two men led the assailants to the residence to shoot them dead.He appealed to the governor get justice for the deceased, “whose killers were led allegedly by Koripamo Ogili and ThankGod Deizia.”
After the visit, the Director of Strategic Communications, Governor’s Office, Chief Nathan Egba-Ologo, in a statement, said that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) has a responsibility to redeem the image of the Army by ensuring the arrest and trial of the soldiers that killed the duo.He stressed that the deceased were killed in the house of Taribi while they were waiting for the results of the election in their polling units several meters away from the polling unit where they voted.
The government further called on the COAS to take proactive steps by investigating the circumstances that lead to the murder of the duo, adding that the earlier narrative that the deceased were killed by men in Nigerian Army uniform would not stand anymore as the Publicity Secretary of APC in the state, Mr. Buokoribo Doifie, has confirmed in reports that a member of his party identified as Thankgod Deizigha led the soldiers to the residence where they were shot.But the state chapter of the party in a statement swiftly dissociated itself from the narrative that the duo were victims of violence perpetrated by APC supporters.
Governor Dickson, during the condolence visit said the state government, the PDP and indeed the state were saddened by the gruesome murder of the duo by men in Nigerian Army uniform feared to be soldiers.
ANAMBRA State did not participate in the governorship poll, but despite being one of the few states with staggered guber poll, police in the state confirmed that two persons were killed during the general elections. According to a resident, who craved anonymity, the killings occurred in Obosi, when some thugs attempted to hijack ballot boxes there, even though the police claims that the killings were as a result of clash between rival cult groups in that part of the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Haruna Mohammed, said that 47 of the cultists have been arrested, and 18 of them have already been moved to the State’s Criminal Investigation Department in Awka, the state capital.The lawmaker representing Idemili North and Idemili South Federal Constituency, Obinna Chidoka has called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to thoroughly investigate the death of the two men who were murdered during the March 2 rerun election in Obosi Community. Chidoka, who made the call while fielding questions from newsmen in Obosi, Idemili North of Anambra, maintained that security agents at the polling centre should be made to account for killings.
Chidoka who said he escaped death by the whiskers at the scene of the incident, added that he even tried to record the event with his mobile phone.He said, “I was using my smart phone to record the commotion, which greeted the sudden order by the DPO (who was posted to Obosi on the eve of the election from Achalla Police station) that the collation of results at Chuke Memorial Primary School (the ward collation centre) be moved to Ogidi, the local council headquarters. It was shortly after that that I started hearing gunshots.
“I was standing less than 10 metres across the road from Chuke Memorial Primary Schools while the shooting lasted. My orderly rushed me to a container used as a mini shop, but the owner who was already inside
locked it and refused to open for us after we knocked severally.
“At that point, I decided to hide myself beside condemned tyres and goods until the shooting, which was done by the police and DSS operatives, who parked their vehicles around,” Chidoka said.He added that as he was driving away from the scene, the convoy of the Commissioner of Police arrived, and he turned back to meet him, adding that it was then that they discovered that two persons were killed during the shooting by Police and DSS personnel.”Chidoka insisted that the deaths, which the police blamed on a cult clash was untrue and must be investigated.
EBONYI State had its share of bloodshed on February 23 as two persons were killed, while three others were injured at Amagu Ward 1, in the Ikwo Local Council.The dead are Igwe Ukwa and Egbe Oruke, while those injured are Ejike Simon, Igwe and Alo Nwamgbo. The state Commissioner of Police, Awosola Awotunde, while confirming the incident to journalists, linked it to clashes between supporters of two political parties in the state. He said: “The injured ones are being treated in the hospital, and we are treating them as suspects for now as they were involved in the clash.”
However, member representing the Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency and candidate of the PDP, Lazarus Ogbe, accused the APC in the state of masterminding the attacks. Ogbe, who said one of the two persons killed was his agent at the polling unit in the area, alleged that polling materials for the ward were hijacked by political thugs.
The APC candidate for the Ebonyi South Senatorial District, Onu Prince Nweze had earlier escaped death as political thugs numbering over 20 invaded his home and beat him to stupor, as well as inflicted him with deep cuts on his head and other parts of the body.
ENUGU State was not without a tragic happening as a certain Sunday Odo, younger brother of the APC House of Assembly candidate had his life cut short by one of the bullets fired during the gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections in the state. Odo met his untimely death during a scuffle at the residence of the party’s governorship candidate, Senator Ayogu Eze in Umuonu-Umuida, Enugu-Ezike, in Igboeze North Local Council.He was earlier rushed to Umuida General Hospital where staff on duty rejected him in the guise of dearth of facilities.
An account of the incident, which led to his dearth has it that it happened when a team of local observers went to interview the governorship candidate, who had pulled out of the election following INEC’s alleged refusal to restore and publish his name as candidate of the party in line with the order of the court.
The angry crowd of supporters, which took over Eze’s residence had attempted to prevent the local observers from gaining access into the place. The crowd also got restive on sighting materials belonging to the PDP and the discovery that the vehicles whose plate numbers were unmasked belonged to the state government.It was in the process that the policemen attached to the senator was alleged to have fired into the air, apparently to disperse the crowd, with one of the bullets accidentally, hitting the victim on the head. It was also gathered that the victim had come to the residence in solidarity with his brother, who joined the governorship candidate to boycott the election.
BAUCHI State equally felt the grim presence of political thugs, who were alleged to be responsible for the death of at least five persons during the elections in the state capital.The political thugs popularly called ‘Sara-Suka’ were expressing their displeasure over the recent gubernatorial and State Assembly elections in the state.
Areas, which they unleashed terror on their residents include Abuja-Kwata, Doya, Bakaro, Ran Road, and Gombe Road, among other areas, where they extorted and demanded money as ransom from the residents.
As they dispossessed people of their mobile phones and cash, rival groups attacked each other, especially at night hours a development, which led to the loss of lives.
The PPRO, Bauchi State Police Command, Kamal Datti Abubakar, a DSP, however, maintained that only one person was killed in the incident, where nine suspects have already been arrested.He said as soon as the reports were lodged, the command mobilised and ensured that peace returned to all the troubled spots, while calling on law-abiding citizens to go about their normal routines without any fear of molestation.
DELTA State sent out an early ominous sign as far as the elections are concerned as the Special Assistant on Youth’s Development to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Mr. Lawrence Ngozi Akpomiemie, was murdered only hours before polls opened on penultimate Saturday, in Ekpan, Uvwie Local Council.The deceased, a known youth leader and staunch PDP supporter was shot severally in the chest and head, by his unknown assailants, who trailed him from a long distance.
Even though he was in the company of his girl friend, the killers waited for him to give up the ghost before leaving. The Police Election Monitoring Situation Room in the state informed The Guardian that efforts were on to unravel the those behind the murder.
Also on election night, a boat conveying 23 passengers, capsized around Ebrohimi waterway after colliding with a fishing boat along the Benin River on its way to Koko.
Three passengers drowned in the incident and their bodies were later found in the creeks of Warri North where the incident took place. The immediate past governor of the state, and the Delta South senatorial candidate of the APC, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, described the victims as heroes as they lost their lives while trying to ensure that the votes in the riverine areas of the state counted.
The former governor expressed sadness by the incident, saying the deceased “paid the supreme price for the nation’s democracy” while travelling home to their various polling units to cast their votes for the candidates of their choice in the March 9 governorship and state House of Assembly elections.He said “Our beloved three brothers died in their quest to ensure that the votes of our people in the riverine area count in the March 9 election.
“This is to tell Nigerians the risk our people particularly in Delta South go through during election periods to vote for the candidate of their choice. I commiserate with the family of the deceased and the people of Warri North.”Before that five persons identified as members of the opposition party in the state were murdered in an apartment in Effurun, Uvwie Local Council.
The killings were alleged to be reprisal for the killing of two persons on February 2, 2019.The state’s PPRO Andrew Aniamaka, who said all the victims were members of the APC, said six persons have so far been arrested in connection with the killing.
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