The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended Saturday’s bye-election meant to fill the vacant seat of the Ekiti East Constituency 1 in the Ekiti State House of Assembly.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commission, Dr. Tella Adeniran, said in a statement in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, that the commission has suspended the poll following the violence unleashed on voters and officials of the electoral body political thugs.
Three Voters Feared Dead In Ekiti Bye Election Violence
The Commissioner explained that the election was going peaceful until arm-wielding hoodlums stormed two polling units of ward 009 unit 008 and 009, and started shooting sporadically.
In a statement he said that this development led to the death of three voters, while a police officer, corps member and one of the commission staff sustained varying degrees of injuries.
The Ekiti East State Constituency I bye-election which started at 8.30 a.m. today witnessed 100 percent opening of polls at 8.30 a.m.
In his words; “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 Polling Units of Ward 09 (Obadore IV); Polling Unit 8 (Baba Egbe/Odouro /Odoule) and Polling Unit 9 (Beside Baba Egbe/Odouru/Odoule I), 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 State Commissioner of Police is fully aware of the situation,”.
“it is unfortunate that despite the effort of the commission in giving Nigerians free, fair, credible and inclusive election, some people appeared to be unprepared for an improved electoral process”.
”The situation appeared that conducive environment no longer exists for further electoral activities at the polling units and the collation centers”.
Adeniran said in view of the development, the commission had, therefore, suspended the election.