No fewer than three people as well as scores of other residents and security personnel sustained some form of injuries in Ekiti State as gunmen opened fire during the Ekiti East 1 State Constituency Bye-Election on Saturday.
While residents said a 50 years old man identified as Bola and a 35 years old man were feared shot dead, the Police Public Relations Officer, Sunday Abutu, said the injured included two policemen and a corps member.
The senator representing Ekiti South Senatorial District, Senator Biodun Olujimi, who hails from Omuo Ekiti, said she narrowly escaped being shot as political thugs allegedly invaded her polling unit at Ward 7 Unit 007, following which she was ferried out of the place by party supporters.
The development prompted the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to suspend the process indefinitely.
The decision of INEC is contained in a statement on Saturday by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.
The statement partly read, “The commission made adequate arrangements for the election. Personnel and materials arrived on time in all the 39 Polling Units spread across five wards of the constituency for the 23,670 registered voters to exercise their franchise in a free and fair process.
“However, no sooner had the voting commenced than unidentified gunmen unleashed mayhem at some polling units, thereby disrupting the process.
“Unfortunately, some innocent voters were shot dead , while a policeman, some INEC regular and ad hoc staff who sustained gunshot injuries during the melee are receiving medical attention.
“The situation is unacceptable. In its avowed commitment to electoral integrity, the commission has suspended the election indefinitely. To continue with the process will amount to rewarding bad behaviour. The security agencies are aware of this unfortunate situation and have commenced investigation.
“The commission commiserates with the innocent victims of this dastardly act and affront to our democracy.