THE presidential and National Assembly election held countrywide on Saturday turned bloody and tragic in some states with no fewer than 20 people hacked to death, even as violence reigned supreme in other states.
The affected states are Borno, where two people were killed; Bayelsa (two); Rivers (seven); Yobe (two); Kogi (two); Ebonyi (two); Delta (two); Lagos, Oyo, Zamfara, which recoded one death each.
Incidents of unbridled vote buying, ballot box snatching by hoodlums, shooting at polling units, characterised the polls in a number of states, including Lagos where some hoodlums burnt ballot boxes.
An interim report by the Nigeria Civil Society (NCS) confirmed the casualty figures recorded in the affected states, just as it also corroborated cases of vote-buying, which, it said, was pronounced in Lagos, Niger, Edo, Kwara, Kano and Katsina states.
A text message sent to Saturday Tribune from the mobile number 08189951830 claimed that INEC ad-hoc staff were stick stuck on the sea at Bakassi en route Ibaka since 9.00 a.m.
The message added that no rescue operation had been made to get the officials as of 7.05 p.m. when he sent the text.
7 killed in Rivers, voting materials snatched
A former chairman of Andoni Local Government Area of the state, Mowan Etete, his elder brother as well as his cousing and three other persons were said to have been killed in Asarama and Abonema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state during the polls.
Etete was shot dead by armed thugs who were said to have also killed his elder brother and another victim.
The incident at Abonema was said to have been sparked by a heavy shooting by armed thugs leading to many people sustaining several degrees of injuries.
Voting materials belonging to Oyigbo area were reported to have been snatched at several polling units in the area.
Nnamdi Omoni, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Rivers State command, confirmed the killings to Sunday Tribune, even though he declined to make further comments.
However, the Army said its troops killed six assailants when the soldiers deployed in River State were attacked in what it said was a premeditated onslaught.
Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, in a statement, one of the soldiers, a lieutenant, was killed by the attackers.
One killed, 19 arrested, materials burnt in Lagos
There was confusion in the Ago area of Okota, Lagos State, as one person was killed, a ballot box was burnt and ballot papers destroyed by hoodlums, who were allegedly working for one of the political parties.
Nineteen people were also arrested in different parts of the state for allegedly committing electoral offences .
The police and the military impounded scores of vehicles driven by drivers who defied the restriction order along some of the roads in the state .
Sunday Tribune gathered that trouble started around Nwachukwu Drive and Canal area of Ago Okota , when voters accused hoodlums of preventing them from voting for the candidates of their choice.
A resident of the area , who simply identified himself as IK, told Sunday Tribune that the hoodlums insisted that they must vote for the ruling party in the state.
The residents reportedly protested and the hoodlums reportedly destroyed the ballot boxes and papers, before setting them ablaze.
The residents continued their protest till around 4.00 p.m. and insisted on starting the process all over again but the INEC officials said that they had no power to grant their wish .
In another development, four suspected cult members were arrested in the Epe area of the state with dangerous weapons, including axes and knives.
The state commissioner of police, Subairu Mu’azu , who confirmed the incidents and the arrest of the suspects to journalists, also said that nine people were earlier in the day arrested for allegedly committing electoral offences in the Somolu area of the state.
2 shot dead in Delta
But for the killing of two potential voters and the injuring of three at a polling centre along old Eku/Amukpe road, in Sapele Local Government Area, the election would have passed as peaceful.
Unknown gunmen, at about 1:00p.m, when voting was taking place at a centre along old Eku/Amukpe road, it was gathered, stormed the venue and rained pellets on electorate queuing to cast their votes.
Reports gathered by Sunday Tribune revealed that the number of voters queuing to be accredited and vote at the polling centre was unusually huge, part of the reason, some sources said, the gunmen opened fire on them as it was obvious who would benefit from the votes.
Sunday Tribune gathered that although the motive of the shooters was yet to be ascertained as no arrest has been reportedly made.
The new Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr Adeyinka Adeleke, could not give the actual figure of the dead and the injured as he was yet to be briefed as of press time, who’s not authorized to speak to the press, confirmed the incident and the number of deaths.
Armed men kill Govt House photographer in Bayelsa
Rampaging armed men in military uniform have killed a Government House Photographer, Mr Reginald Dei, and one other person at Oweikorogha, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area òf Bayelsa State.
Dei was killed alongside the Ward Chairman òf the Peoples Democratic Party in the area, Mr Seidougha Taribi.
According to an eye witness account, the two victims of the electoral violence were killed while they were in their houses and waiting for the votes which had been concluded in their ward to be counted.
The assailants were said to have moved to the houses to victims to shoot them to death.
The state chairman òf the PDP, Chief Moses Cleopas, said in a statement on Saturday that the death of Dei and Seidougha brought the number of those killed by alleged APC thugs, to three.
Moses had said that thugs identified to be working for the APC with the support of some soldiers had besieged the Bassambiri and Oluasiri axis of Nembe Local Government Area, where they engaged operatives in a shootout all night on Friday.
One killed at polling unit in Ibadan, ballot snatcher arrested
A 25-year-old man, Monsuru Hamzat became the first victim at a polling unit at Agbongbon area in Ibadan, Oyo State, as he died after being hit by pellets, after some hoodlums who accompanied a former deputy governor of the state, fired shots on arrival at Ward 2, Unit 14 at the area.
Confirming the incident, the state Commissioner of Police, Shina Olukolu told Sunday Tribune that voting had been concluded and ballot papers were being counted when the former deputy governor, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, came allegedly in company with one Akin and Edilla, as well as some hoodlums.
He accused them of disrupting the counting exercise by firing a shot.
However, when contacted, Alhaji Arapaja denied the story narrated by the police commissioner, saying that the shoe was on the other foot, as he was the target of the shooters.
He said he usually cast his vote at his ward at Agbongbon, and was there after voting ended and counting began.
According to the former deputy governor, “I am happy some reporters and security operatives were there. Nobody came with me.”What I experienced today, I have never experienced it before.
“Pellets hit Hamzat and he was rushed to the hospital. Sadly, he died,” the police commissioner explained.
Olukolu said that the former deputy governor fled the scene with those in his company, but added that he (police commissioner) had handed over the case to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Iyaganku, Ibadan, for investigation.
The police commissioner also disclosed that a man, Adeyemi Ayomide, was arrested at Agodi area when he came in company with another man to, allegedly, snatch a ballot box.
According to him, the suspect was arrested and ballot papers and boxes were safe.
APC ward chairman killed in Zamfara
Gunmen suspected to be assassins have killed the All Progressives Congress (APC) chairman of Yandoto Daji Ward in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara state, Alhaji Yusuf, few hours to the commencement of the election.
The ward chairman was reportedly killed by gunmen in the early hours of Saturday at his Yandoton daji resident few kilometers from Gusau the state capital.
According to the family source,late Alhaji Yusuf was fully prepared for the Saturday’s election,but was attacked and killed by suspected assassins for unknown reasons.
Confirming the incident,the chairman of Tsafe Local Government Council, Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar, described the assassination of the APC ward chairman as unfortunate,too bad and very cruel.
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