Three persons were feared dead during the Ekiti East Constituency I bye-election in Ekiti East Council area of Ekiti State for a vacant House of Assembly seat on Saturday.
No fewer than five others also sustained varying degrees of gunshot injuries with about three of them said to be in critical condition at the hospitals where they are receiving treatment.
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 by-election, which was to fill the seat made vacant by the demise of the erstwhile All Progressives Congress lawmaker representing the constituency, Juwa Adegbuyi, began barely two hours before violence erupted, forcing voters to abandon the queues for their lives.
Olujimi who said the violence in her unit was perpetrated by APC thugs with the alleged compromise of police officers, said, “APC leaders were the masterminds of the attack having mobilised people from all over the state for the bye-election taking place in just five wards.
“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 indiscriminately. They picked the ballot box and started shooting as they went along. This is the first time I witnessed such in this locality.
“Before we knew it, a man was dead on the floor, people were shouting ‘Bola, Bola’. I looked at Bola, they poured water on him, it was too late. There was also a corps member that gun had grazed his ears.
“As I was going out to get an ambulance to even try if we could rescue him, I saw the policewoman that was guarding the ballot box, she had been shot in the back of the neck and blood was coming out from her nose and everywhere. She was just screaming, at a stage, she got quiet.
“People who had dispersed because of the gunshots started coming out of the houses, some with injuries. We took them to Omuo General Hospital, they could only take the simple cases, I had to get one bus and an ambulance to take the others to Ikole General Hospital.”
Olujimi, who wondered the reason for the desperation allegedly on the part of the APC for a tenure that would end in 2023 added, “It is about lack of confidence in themselves because you don’t need this kind of heavy artillery for a bye-election. Definitely, there was no election. Everybody had to scamper for safety. This election must be canceled.”