…INEC suspends bye-election
A former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has described the alleged killing of three persons by suspected APC thugs during the the Ekiti East Constituency I by-election in the Ekiti East Local Government Area of the state as “clear evidence of state sponsored terrorism against her own citizens, who have rejected the party in government.”
Three persons were feared killed during the House of Assembly by-election, while no fewer than five others sustained gunshot injuries, with about three of them said to be in critical condition at hospitals receiving treatment.
While some residents said a 50-years-old man identified as Bola and a 35-year-old man were feared killed, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Sunday Abutu, said those injured included two policemen and a corps member.
But Fayose, in a statement titled, ‘Killings during Ekiti Assembly by-election is state terrorism, evidence of rejection of APC – Fayose’, said the “killing of innocent people in the House of Assembly by-election was barbaric and shameful.
“I thought we have gone past this barbarism in Ekiti State especially when we are confronted with national insecurity to which the government has no solution. Most importantly, everything that goes round in life comes round. The perpetrators of this despicable act should therefore remember that there will be consequences for all actions because the blood of the dead will surely speak and fight back,” he said.
However, Governor Kayode Fayemi has commiserated with the families of those killed in the mayhem as well as those who sustained injuries in the violence.
Condemning the violence, he “no one involved in the dastardly act would go unpunished.”
According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, titled, ‘Violence in Ekiti East Constituency I bye-election’, Fayemi said, “Our condolences to the families that lost loved ones and those who were injured. Government would not relent in efforts to always ensure safety of lives and property. We shall ensure all purveyors of violence are brought to book.
The lawmaker representing Ekiti South Senatorial District, Senator Biodun Olujimi, who hails from Omuo Ekiti, said she narrowly escaped being shot as political thugs allegedly invaded her polling unit at Ward 7, Unit 007, following which she was whisked out of the place by party supporters.
The by-election, organised to fill the seat made vacant by the death of the All Progressives Congress lawmaker representing the constituency, Juwa Adegbuyi, began barely two hours before violence erupted forcing voters to abandon the queues for their lives.
Olujimi, who alleged that the violence in her unit was perpetrated by the APC thugs with the alleged compromise of police officers, said, “APC leaders were the masterminds of the attack, having mobilised people from all over the state for a by-election taking place in just five wards.”
“The leaders of the APC came to the polling unit; in fact, we greeted warmly. After they left, some APC thugs who stayed behind pulled out guns and started shooting sporadically. They picked the ballot box and started shooting as they went along. This is the first time I have witnessed such in this locality.
“Before we knew it, a man was dead on the floor; people were shouting, ‘Bola, Bola’. I looked at Bola. They poured water on him, (but) it was too late. There was also a corps member that gun grazed his ears.”
“As I was going out to get an ambulance to even try if we could rescue him, I saw the policewoman that was guarding the ballot box. She had been shot at the back of the neck and blood was coming out from her nose and everywhere. She was just screaming, (and) at a stage, she got quiet.
“People, who had dispersed because of the gunshots, started coming out of the houses some with injuries. We took them to Omuo General Hospital. They could only attend to the simple cases; I had to get a bus and an ambulance to take the others to Ikole General Hospital. Definitely, there was no election. Everybody had to scamper to safety. This election must be cancelled,” she added.
The PDP candidate in the election, Akinrinade Adeniran, who decried the alleged show of brutal force by the ruling party, said, “They invaded my compound on Friday and smashed my car’s windscreens with gunshots. They also shot at the roof of my building. This is no longer democracy.”
But a member of the House of Representatives and chieftain of the APC, Femi Bamisile, described the shooting incident as “unfortunate, appalling and unbelievable.”
“APC was fully prepared for this election and canvassed for votes and we never wanted to kill anybody. I really don’t understand how it happened. I didn’t want to believe that it was (caused by) our party,” he said.