Less than 24 hours to the Saturday, February 25th general elections in Nigeria, worrisome reports of attacks on the various party candidates’ convoys and supporters have continued to surface.
Consequently, at least two people were injured on Thursday in an attack on the convoy of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the House of Representatives, Lagos Mainland Constituency, Segun Gbayi.
The attack by the yet-to-be-identified gunmen happened in the Makoko area, Yaba, Lagos State.
According to the PUNCH, the gunmen also attacked the security escorts attached to the convoy, opened fire, and vandalized their vehicles.
However, Gbayi narrowly escaped the attack unhurt.
Reacting, Gbayi said the attack was to prevent members and supporters of the party from exercising their franchise in tomorrow’s election.
“This attack was violently carried out to discourage us from exercising our political franchise,” he said.
He advised voters and the general public to remain safe during this period and report any case of threat to lives, vandalization, or violent attack to security officers.
In a related development, Policemen in the convoy of the wife of Zamfara State Peoples Democratic Party’s House of Representatives candidate, Hurriyah Lawal, have allegedly been shot in a clash with the state anti-thuggery operatives.
The incident was said to have happened in the early hours of Friday when Mrs. Lawal was returning to Gusau, the state capital.
Speaking in a Channels TV report, Imran Ahnad, the media aide to the wife of the party’s Reps candidate, Dauda Lawal, however, alleged that the attackers were Zamfara State anti-thuggery operatives.
He was quoted as saying, “The convoy of the wife of the Zamfara PDP Reps candidate was just attacked now in Gusau by heavily armed militia, anti-thuggery operatives, with two policemen, shot and civilians injured.”
Meanwhile, the Commander of Zamfara State anti-thuggery agency, Bello Bakyasuwa, while speaking on the incident, said that the operatives of the agency were on patrol when they were attacked by some suspected political thugs around noon Friday.
“Yes, our operatives were attacked early hours of Friday, they were on patrol when some thugs with a convoy started shouting “karya ne” (it is a lie) and started shooting at the Anti-thuggery Operatives, we don’t have a choice but to retaliate.”
Bakyasuwa said two of the thugs have been arrested and are currently in the custody of the agency.
When asked about the injured policemen, he said, “I am not aware of that.”
However, the state police command promised to state it when reached for comment on the attack as of the time of filing this report.
Similarly, the Erudite Media earlier reported the palpable tensions in the South East region, over the killing of a candidate of the Labour Party in Saturday’s Enugu East Senatorial District election, Mr. Oyibo Chukwu, by yet-to-be-identified gunmen.
Chukwu was killed at Amechi, Awkunanaw Local Government Area of Enugu while returning from a campaign rally.
He was murdered alongside five of his supporters.
The killers were also said to have set him and his supporters who were with him inside his car ablaze.
Reacting, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Chijioke Edeoga, confirmed the unfortunate incident, saying his party members are being targeted for assassination by political parties which felt threatened by the rise of the Labour Party in the state.
It would be recalled that some suspected militants have vowed to cripple election in the region but security forces have assured residents that they are on top of the situation.
Meanwhile, the Enugu police command is yet to react to the incident, which Edeoga insists is politically motivated.