A human rights lawyer, Ayo Ademiluyi has said the violence that erupted during the Ekiti by-election where three people were reported dead on Saturday is like a preamble to the 2023 general elections in the country.
He said in a statement on Monday while responding to the unfortunate incidence that happened at Ward 7, Unit 7 Iworo in Omuo Ekiti.
The House of Assembly by-election for Ekiti East Constituency 1 in Ekiti State was marred with the invasion of political thugs who shot a police officer and two other voters.
Also, about six people sustained injuries as gunmen shot sporadically in the air.
“At least three people have been killed, including with a police officer. Some other people also sustained injuries and they are currently in hospital,” an eyewitness told journalists.
The state police spokesperson, Sunday Abutu, confirmed the attack but was silent on the reported killings.
“Some suspected thugs attacked ward 7 Unit 7 Iworo in Omuo Ekiti, shooting sporadically while eligible voters were casting their votes in a by-election of Ekiti State House of Assembly.
“In the process, six people were injured, among them were two policemen and one National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member who are currently receiving treatment in Ikole General Hospital.”
While reacting, through a statement, Ademiluyi described the incident as, “Ekiti By-Election Violence: the foreshadow of 2023 General Elections as INEC reaps whirlwind of anti-people’s electoral attacks.”
“I write in response to the unfortunate event of the violence that trailed the by-election in Ekiti State, wherein three persons were killed, including a female police officer. The unfortunate incident forced INEC to cancel the by-election in Ekiti State.
“What is clear is that the Ekiti by-election is a foreshadow of the 2023 general elections which is being planned by all the dominant pro-rich political parties as an outright bloody conflict, orchestrated by them.”
The Lagos-based lawyer blamed the nation’s electoral body for their numerous excesses that have jeopardised the confidence of the electorate in the electoral system.
“I am of the view that the consistent actions and inactions of the Independent National Electoral Commission to block access to the electoral space, to wit, the purported deregistration of political parties, purported appeal records against victorious court judgments have reduced the confidence of the voting public and also constricted the electoral space. The unwholesome bloodshed that followed is a natural whirlwind that follows the wind sown by INEC.
“Going forward, I call for expansion of the electoral space by the Independent National Electoral Commission in order to provide a level playing ground for all candidates.”