Not less than two persons were on Saturday killed as violence disrupted a State Assembly bye-election in Ekiti State.
A statement signed by INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, said the “voters, election officials and security personnel” were attacked prompting the commission to suspend voting.
The election was held to fill the vacancy for the Ekiti East 1 State Constituency.
“The Commission made adequate arrangements for the election. Personnel and materials arrived on time in all the 39 Polling Units spread across 5 Wards of the Constituency for the 23,670 registered voters to exercise their franchise in a free and fair process,” the INEC statement said.
“However, no sooner had 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.
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“This 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 behavour. 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.”
Meanwhile, the state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has condemned the violence.
According to a statement signed by his spokesman, Yinka Oyebode, “this violence is most unwarranted, and deeply disturbing. I have instructed the police authorities to fish out the perpetrators and ensure they face the music.
“Our condolences to the families that lost loved ones and those who were injured. We shall ensure all purveyors of violence are brought to book.”
Also, the Ekiti State Police Command said the violence had been perpetrated by suspected thugs in Unit 7 ward 7 in Omuo-Ekiti “while eligible voters” were performing their constitutional duty.