From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti and Okwe Obi, Abuja
All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has condemned the unprovoked violence that characterised Saturday’s House of Assembly by-election into Ekiti East constituency 1 which claimed two lives.
In a statement, yesterday, in Ado Ekiti by the Director of Media and Publicity, Sam Oluwalana, the party condemned the unwarranted shootings by suspected thugs at Unit 7, Ward 7 which is the polling unit of Biodun Olujimi’s ward.
Oluwalana said irrespective of the party or personality involved, no life should be lost over any election in Ekiti.
“It is unfortunate that a very peaceful and transparent election could have turned so bloody.
“The APC is law-abiding, peaceful and as such has no reason to be violent. No election is worth the blood of any Ekiti son or daughter.
“We sincerely commiserate with the families of those who lost their loved ones, while also wishing the policewoman and other gunshot victims, still on admission in the hospital, quick recovery.
“We call on the security agents to bring the perpetrators of this needless bloodletting to justice,” APC said in the statement.
Young Progressives Party (YPP) also condemned the violence, alleging that vote-buying by APC and Peoples Democratic Party during the election sparked off the violence.
The party, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Owoola Daramola, said: “It is with utmost regret that we, YPP, in Ekiti State make this statement, in reaction to the violence that greeted the by-election into the House of Assembly, Ekiti East constituency 1.
“The APC-led government has failed Nigerians, they don’t have any achievement they can use to campaign to the people, they want power by all means. The electorate wanted to show them that they have failed through their PVCs, APC should not result to violence because of this. They should accept their failure and make amendments, rather than resulting to violence to force themselves on Nigerians.”
Election observer group, Yiaga Africa strongly condemned the crisis that marred the by-election, adding that the outcome of the process was not only despicable but regrettable.
Its Director of Programmes, Cynthia Mbamalu, in a statement, yesterday, said democracy cannot thrive if politicians continue to circumvent the rule of law, deploying violence and other rigging tactics to win elections at all costs.
She urged National Assembly to hasten the electoral amendment process to enable timely and diligent prosecution of electoral offenders, as well as systemic challenges plaguing electoral process.
“The report of electoral violence witnessed during the Ekiti East State by-elections on March 20 is despicable and antithetical to the democratic rules of credible elections.
“The unleashing of mayhem on the process, which resulted in the death of Nigerians performing their civic duty and gunshot wounds sustained by a corps member and a female police officer at their duty posts, was an assault on democracy and the sanctity of life.
“Yiaga Africa condemns this onslaught and the violence that has cost us innocent lives,” he said.