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One killed, four injured as violence mars Ekiti council poll

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A yet-to-be identified person was reportedly killed by suspected political thugs in Ikere-Ekiti, headquarters of Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti, while four sustained injuries during the local government election on Saturday.

According o reports, the incident occurred at ward 08, unit 002 at Okitiko in Araromi area of the town when some gun-wielding thugs stormed the polling unit, firing gunshot sporadically into the air with a view to snatching ballot boxes.

An eye-witness confirmed to journalist that one person was killed and four others injured by stray bullets shot by the dare-devil thugs when some youths resisted the thugs.

“Some able-bodied political thugs came to the polling unit while voting was going on. They shot sporadically to scare voters and electoral officers in order to snatch the ballot boxes.

“So, in the process of escaping with the ballot boxes, the thugs were resisted by some youths resulting to the death of one person”, he said.

“Apart from the man that was shot, about four people were wounded and the SIEC officials had to take to their heels. The boys came to snatch ballot and when they were resisted, they started shooting one person was killed in the process “.

He said four others who sustained injuries have been taken to the hospital for intensive medicare.

The police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Mr Sunday Abutu, said he has not been briefed as of the time of filing this report.

The elections which was commenced on s peaceful note witnessed low turnout of voters across the 16 local government before the excercise turned bloody in the town.

The Commissioner of Police in Ekiti State, Amba Asuquo had before the elections assured residents of the state of the safety of their lives and property as adequate personnel would be drafted for the polls

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During the election, business outlets and commercial motorcylists were seen plying major roads despite the restriction order announced by the police between 8am and 2 pm.

The election, which was to elect the 16 local government chairmen and 177 councilors was peaceful and devoid of violence in most part of the state.

The Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon Funminiyi Afuye, who voted at St Johns Primary School in Ikere Ekiti declared support for e-voting electoral system, saying he was ready to support any action that will improve the country’s electioneering.

Afuye described the local government election as peaceful and devoid of actions that could truncate free and fair outcome.

“Though the turnout was a little bit low, but it was peaceful. The reason could not have been unconnected with the impeession by the People’s Democratic Party that the All Progressives Congress will win all the seats , but Governor Kayode Fayemi believes in democracy and allows free and fair process.

“Unlike in the past when local government elections were like wars, this one is free and fair, we don’t believe in violence. If you have something to showcase, you have no reason to be violent. No incidence of intimidation. Both the PDP and APC are mobilising for this election”, he said .

The APC State Chairman, Mr Paul Omotoso, who voted in Imesi Ekiti in Gbonyin local government commended the peaceful nature of the poll, praising Fayemi for setting a pace on how best to conduct a credible poll.

The Information Commissioner, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua, who voted at Community Pilot School, polling unit 006, Oke Osun ward in Ikere , praised the State Independent Electoral Commission(SIEC) for the smooth conduct of the election.

The Commissioner added : “The Low turnout was a clear testimony that the opposition is very weak and about the impression that the ruling party will win. Governor Fayemi wants democracy to prevail and on that we stand”.

Reacting to the outcome of the election, the PDP chairman in Ekiti’, Barr Gboyega Oguntuase said: “From what we heard all over, the election is riddled with violence, obviously as expected in an APC state. it is not fair, as I speak with you, it is believed that they have shot one person dead as one or two persons received gun shots.

“In ikole local government, the number of boxes that were to go to Ijesa Isu, Odo Oro, ward 4 in Ikole, all of them were reduced. Where the boxes were, nobody could account for them. That is a clear case of ballot stuffing. In ise Orun, very early in the morning, they unleashed terror on PDP people, seized all the ballot boxes from the units. The same thing applies to Emure and Ekiti East”

On whether the PDP will reject the outcome, “Can any reasonable person accept the result of an election that is riddled with violence and fraud? It is clear. We won’t accept it”.
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