Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was forced to suspend yesterday’s Ekiti East Constituency 1 bye-election, following the violence that greeted the poll in Omuo Ekiti, headquarters of Ekiti East local government of Ekiti State, where three persons were shot dead.
The state’s INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Tella Adeniran in a statement in Ado Ekiti said the poll was suspended because the safety of electoral officials, security agents, voting materials and the credibility of the process cannot be guaranteed.
The statement read, “The Ekiti East State Constituency 1 bye-election which started at 8.30 a.m. today witnessed 100% opening of polls at 8.30 a.m.
“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 (2) PUs of ward 09 (Obadore IV); polling unit 8 (Baba Egbe houselodouro/Odoule) & 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 (3) voters were shot dead while a youth corper, 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 in spite of the effort of the Commission in giving Nigerians free, fair, credible and inclusive election, some people appear to be unprepared for an improved electoral process.
“The situation is such that, a conducive environment no longer exists for further electoral activity at the PUs and the Collation centers.
“In view of this development, the Commission has suspended the election forthwith”.