Two die as Kogi by-election turns bloody

The House of Representatives by-election in Lokoja/Kotonkarfe constituency of Kogi State turned bloody on Saturday.

Consequently, a supporter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yahaya Umoru, was stabbed to death a supporter of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) (names withheld) when the deceased resistance attempts to snatch ballot box.

Pandemonium started when some suspected SDP thugs chanting “Imam must win” stormed a polling unit in Lokoja and attempted to snatch the ballot box at the Unit.

The APC supporters at the polling unit resisted the attempt, leading to the stabbing of Yahaya Umoru.

He was confirmed dead at a nearby hospital.

Yahaya Umoru was a son of an APC House of Assembly aspirant for Lokoja 1 Constituency and was visible throughout the electioneering in the build up to the election.

Police authorities in the state have vowed to apprehend the perpetrators of the dastardly act, urging the youth of the area to maintain calm as the long hands of the law will soon catch up with the murderer.

Sources close to the scene of the event told journalists that the thugs were armed by one of the aspirants in the election.

The source said, “When they came, they said they were ready to kill to ensure the victory of Alfa Imam, the SDP aspirant in the election. It was unfortunate that they were able to carry out their threats.

“The Police must ensure this case is not swept under the carpet. Our politicians should desist from arming youth when their children are in good schools. I am a member of the PDP and I am not happy that we are losing the election. But I can’t kill because of anyone.”

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the command, William Aya, who confirmed this to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja said the incident had brought the number of people killed during the election to two.

He said the latest victim, whom he identified as Yadau Umoru, was killed at Ugwan Pawa polling unit, in front of Maigari palace, while attempting to snatch a ballot box.

According to him, the corpse of the deceased had been deposited in the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja.

An unidentified man had earlier in the day been killed by a mob at the polling unit located by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company’s office in Lokoja, while attempting to snatch a ballot box.

Aya had told NAN that the identity of the unfortunate man was unknown.

The bye-election which started peacefully, with impressive turnout of voters, later became characterized by vote-buying and violence, including ballot box-snatching.

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