By Alo Abiola, Ado Ekiti
Three persons were on Saturday shot dead in Omuo Ekiti as the House of Assembly bye-election in Ekiti East constituency 1 turned bloody.
Six other persons including two police officers, an officer of the Federal Road Safety Commission, a Corps member, presiding officer, and one other, were also shot and are now in critical conditions at the hospital.
Among those that were killed during the incident which occurred at ward 7 unit 07 of the town was a 50 -year old Bola Adebisi and 35-year old Tunde Ogunleye.
Apart from the shootings and killings, there were also reported cases of ballot snatching in ward Wards 8, 9 and one other in the constituency making INEC officials and voters to desert all polling units in town around 11 am for the fear of being attack.
Narrating how the violence which occurred in her unit to the journalists, the Senator representing Ekiti South Senatorial District, Mrs Biodun Olujimi, said the election had been peaceful before some political thug invaded her unit and started shooting sporadically
The federal lawmaker who said she narrowly escaped death as some of her supporters has to ferry her out of the polling unit alleged that some APC thugs and compromised police officers disrupted 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 hospitals in Omuo and Ikole receiving treatments”, she lamentedA member of House of Representatives and a native of the town, Hon. Femi Bamisile, who desribed the shooting as appalling and unbelievable, however said APC could not be responsible for such.
Bamisile said, “No election worth the blood of any Nigerian.In any election where people 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 that carryout the attack.Election started peacefully what could have erupted shootings and killings?”, he asked.
Also speaking on the incident, 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”.
The Police Public Relations Officer Ekiti State Command, ASP Sunday Abutu, in a statement 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.