…INEC suspends by-election
No fewer than three people were killed while a policeman and polling officer were shot during the Ekiti State Constituency 1 by-election held yesterday, even as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the suspension of the exercise.
INEC in a situation report yesterday evening signed by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Tella Adeniran stated that the decision became necessary due to violence that erupted when the election was in progress.
INEC stated that the development marred the conducive election environment and does not guarantee further electoral activities. INEC noted that the Sat urday bye-election started at 8.30 am and witnessed 100 per cent opening of polls at 8.30 am.
“The exercise commenced on a good note in a peaceful and orderly manner. However, at about 10.00 am there were reported cases of violence.
“In two PUs of Ward 09 (Obadore IV); Polling Unit 8 (Baba Egbe houselodouro/ Odoule) & Polling Unit 9 (Beside Baba Egbe/Odouru/ Odoule) and Polling Unit 07 (Aro street/Aro) of Ward 07 (Obadore lI). “In PU 07, Ward 07 three voters were shot dead while a youth corps member, a police woman and an INEC staff sustained gunshot wounds.
“Under this circumstance, the safety of electoral officials, security personnel and election materials as well as the credibility of the process cannot be guaranteed.”
The REC also noted that the State Commissioner of Police is fully aware of the situation. “It is unfortunate that in spite of the effort of the Commission in giving Nigerians free, fair, credible and inclusive election, some people appear to be unprepared for an improved electoral process.
“The situation is such that, a conducive environment no longer exists for further electoral activity at the PUs and the Collation centers. “In view of this development, the Commission has suspended the election forthwith” the situation report, he added.
In his reaction, Governor Kayode Fayemi, who condemned the killings, also directed the State Commissioner of Police, Babatunde Mobayo, to ensure that everybody involved in the violent act are apprehended and brought to book regardless of their party affiliation.
The Governor also commiserated with the families of those reported to have been killed in the mayhem as well as those who sustained injuries