- Category: April 2011 Polls
- Published on Sunday, 10 April 2011 10:55
- Written by Admin
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Edo State Governor Adam Oshiomhole has commended the neutrality of the Nigerian Army deployed for the National Assembly elections , just as a PDP youth leader, Mr. David Ogie, was reportedly shot dead in a fracas that ensued over the sharing formula of “mobilisation fund” in Orhiomnwon local government area of the state.
At the time LEADERSHIP SUNDAY visited the scene of the incident at Ukiato ward in Abudu, the administrative headquarters of the council where the late PDP youth leader was said to have been killed, security agents had cordoned off the entire area. The details of what led to the shooting were still sketchy as at press time.
No fewer than five persons were killed in the early hours of yesterday in Isale-Agbara in Ile-Ife, Osun State, by suspected political thugs. We gathered that the bloody clash started when the thugs invaded the house of the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for the House of Representatives in Ife federal constituency of the state, Mr. Rotimi Makinde, shouting that they were looking for the head of Makinde. The ACN members were said to have been killed by assassins allegedly sponsored by a politician in the town when the supporters of the said politician (names withheld) unleashed terror on Makinde’s house and the candidate for the Senate, Hon. Jide Omoworare.
But, during the gun duel, a guard in the house of Makinde was shot dead, as were four worshipers in the Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Isale Agbara, in the Ife East LGA of the state. The victims are the husband of the founder of the church simply identified as Baba Akin, Ope (aka Akapela), Taofiq, Wale and another worshiper in the church.
Speaking on the incident, the police image maker, Mr. Taiwo Olugbemileke, said the matter had been reported just as an investigation was ongoing.
Commenting on the dastardly act shortly after voting in Ifofin Ward 8 Unit 1 in Ilesha, at exactly 12:42pm, the state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, decried the killings by gunmen. The governor said it was sad they killed a security man attached to the residence of the ACN candidate, and four other neighours in a church near the residence.
The governor said those who killed the five men must have been out to assassinate Makinde. He noted that the development was not enough to conclude that there were security breaches to cause tension in the state. Governor Aregbesola said: “I want to, for now and up till this moment, 12:44pm, say that the security arrangement is so far commendabled, because we have not heard any major development that could create tension. Although in the early hours of the day, around 2am, some hoodlums went to the house of the House of Representatives candidate of my party in Ife federal constituency, Rotimi Makinde, with the intention of either to assassinate him, but they ended up killing one of his security personnel and four neighbours who were in a church around his house.
“Aside that, I received some scattered information about developments that were not quite major threats to the security of the state and, as a result, I want to commend the security so far by the security agencies.”
Also, soldiers on duty during yesterday’s National Assembly elections on the LASU-Iyana Iba Road in Lagos discovered an abandoned Toyota Hilux truck with 40 AK-47 riffles. The truck was allegedly abandoned on the road, near the LASU second gate on Ijana- Iba Road, by an unknown people.
We gathered from an eyewitness, an army colonel who pleaded anonymity, that the truck had allegedly been parked on the spot since Friday night. The colonel added that the driver of the truck and the owner were yet to be found.
The soldier said the truck was discovered to be carrying dangerous weapons at about 9.45am when one of the soldiers who was combing the environment before the election noticed certain strange things with the truck.
The commissioner of police, Lagos State command, Mr. Muhammed Abbas, told one of our correspondents during a telephone interview that the command was yet to gather any information about the abandoned truck. He, however, said that the police had taken possession of the controversial truck and commenced investigation to find out the owner of the truck and the arms .
The development came just as over 37 NYSC corps members employed as ad-hoc staff during the National Assembly polls in Nasarawa State absconded a few minutes to the commencement of the elections.
LEADERSHIP SUNDAY investigations reveal that the corps members might have disappeared on hearing of the bomb blast in Suleja area of Niger State where their colleagues were said to have lost their lives. The 37 corps members were supposed to conduct elections in various polling units within Keffi town and environs for the senatorial elections.
The INEC electoral officer, Shehu Abdulkadir, who confirmed the development to us, said he had received the report from his supervisor. He, however, added that he was yet to ascertain the actual number of those that absconded as their supervisors were still making compilations. He said that the commission would make alternative replacements to ensure the smooth conduct of the exercise.
Some thugs in Giza area of Keana local government area of the state were arrested by security operatives for ballot box snatching and causing confusion in the area. But stakeholders of the three main political parties in Nasarawa State - Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and Congress for Progressive Change(CPC) - have expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the National Assembly elections in the state.
Five persons have been arrested in Kebbi State over alleged diversion of ballot boxes from the designated polling units. The incident occurred in Koko-Besse and Fakai local government areas, where the culprits were allegedly caught stuffing ballot boxes in a private residence.
We gathered that the four persons arrested in Koko-Besse included two supervisors and two presiding officers working at Karamar Damba and Zaria Kalakala areas.
Those arrested by the security agents on patrol in Koko-Besse are Yusuf Dauda, Bashir Umar and Aliyu Zaria Kalakala. They had already been handed over to the police command.
In Fakai local government area, a former council chairman, Alhaji Gado Umar, and one other person were also arrested in connection with electoral malpractice.
The REC in charge of Kebbi State, Alhaji Kabir Ahmed, confirmed the arrest of the victims and promised to prosecute them immediately. He warned politicians against any form of electoral malpractice as INEC would not hesitate
Meanwhile, the chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, says despite pocket cases of irregularities recorded in some states, the elections were generally carried out in a festive manner.
A feisty Jega also cleared the air on disparaging reports surrounding the printing of ballot papers for the presidential elections. Following reports of the printing of rerun ballot papers even when ‘main’ presidential papers had not been printed, Jega said the move was not made in anticipation of a rerun.
In part, he said, it was standard practice to print ballot papers especially for gubernatorial and presidential elections simultaneously with rerun ballots papers.
Secondly, he blamed last-minute security details included in the ballot papers for the presidential elections as a cause of delay in the production.
“A lot has been said about the rerun ballot papers arriving before the main presidential elections. It is true that we had challenges with the contract for the production of the presidential ballot papers. (LEADERSHIP SUNDAY)