ADO-EKITI- No fewer than three persons lost their lives while others sustained various degrees of gunshot wounds during the bye-election into vacant Ekiti East constituency 1 conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ekiti East is home to two federal lawmakers, Senator Abiodun Olujimi of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) and Hon Femi Bamisile of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Also two police officers, an officer of the Federal Road Safety Commission, a Corps member and presiding officer were also shot during the crisis and are now in critical conditions in.the hospital.
Aside shootings and killings, there were also reported cases of ballot snatching in ward Ward 9 unit 008 in the constituency.
The position became vacant following the sudden death of an All Progressives Congress member in the State House of Assembly, Hon Juwa Adegbuyi recently.
Independent learnt that mong the casualties were a 50 -year old Bola Adebisi and 35-year old Tunde Ogunleye.
The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Sunday Abutu, confirmed that six persons were shot.
“Today, some hoodlums attacked ward 7 unit 7 during the House of Assembly bye-election. In the process, six people were injured, among them were two policemen and one National Youths Service Corp(NYSC) member who are currently receiving treatment in Ikole General Hospital”.
Abutu said the State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi ,has however, given a directive that all the suspects involved must be apprehended and brought to book.
The trouble which started few hours into the election, however forced voters, INEC offocials and security agents to stop the election abruptly as they had to scamper to safety to prevent being caught in the web of violence
Narrating her ordeal Olujimi, said she narrowly escaped being shot as political thugs invaded her polling unit at ward 7 unit 007 and the federal lawmaker had to be ferried out of the polling unit by party supporters.
She said that the election started peacefully before some APC thugs and compromised police officers started disrupting the voting process.
“The leaders of 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. This is the first time we would witness this. They picked the ballot box and ran away .
“A man died as he was trying to escape the scene. The policewoman guarding the ballot box was also shot in the head. The corps member and President officer at the unit was hit by bullets. In totality, eight people were shot. Some dead and five are battling with their lives in the hospital receiving treatments”, she lamented.
Olujimi accused the leaders of APC of being the masterminds of the horrendous attack, saying they mobilised people from all over the state for election taking place in just five wards.
Bamisile, desrcibed the shooting as appalling and unbelievable, saying no election worth the blood of any Nigerian.
“In any election where lives are being lost, that is no onger democracy. 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 our party. Election started peacefully what could have erupted shootings and killings?”, he asked.
Regretting the extreme show of brutal force by political goons, the PDP candidate in the election, Mr. Akinrinade Adeniran , said signal of war started manifesting on Friday night, when his house and cars were allegedly riddled with bullets.
“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. Democracy is the government of the people and the people should be allowed to make their choices through their votes”.