Nigeria: Opposition senatorial candidate gunned down days before crucial elections



The killers of a senatorial candidate from Nigeria’s opposition Labor Party who was shot and burned in his campaign vehicle late Wednesday in the country’s southeastern Enugu state are being sought, local police said Thursday.

The politician, Oyibo Chukwu, was murdered along with an unnamed personal aide by assailants, who police suspect were operatives of the banned separatist group IPOB and its militant wing ESN.

Chukwu’s killing was one of several attacks targeted at members of other political parties late Wednesday night, a police statement He said, the investigation is on.

“The Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Command, CP Ahmed Amani, FDC, has ordered a search for … subversive criminal elements, suspected to be renegades of IPOB/ESN, who have attacked … the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) as well as attacked and assaulted and killed. Also attempted to attack the convoy of members of the Labor Party (LP), and the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate.

The armed assailants attacked their targets in tricycles and Hilux vehicles, the statement said.

The attacks are taking place three days before Nigeria’s presidential and parliamentary elections.

Labor Party presidential candidate Peter Obi said in a tweet on Thursday that he was saddened to learn of the brutal killing of his party’s Senate candidate.

“I am deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic killing of Labor Party Senatorial Candidate for Enugu East Senatorial Zone, Bar Oyibo Chukwu. … I strongly condemn the killing of Bar Chukwu in full,” Obi said tweeted Adding that Nigerians should “exercise their civic duties freely without fear.”

More than 93 million Nigerians are registered to take part in the country’s general elections starting Saturday, but uncertainty hangs over voter turnout on polling day, with insecurity among the biggest concerns.

Separatist groups have terrorized the southeastern region where agitations for a breakaway Biafra state have sometimes turned violent. In other parts of the country, marauding gunmen known locally as bandits have carried out mass kidnappings, mostly for ransom.

Due to security concerns, INEC says voting will not take place in more than 200 polling units across Nigeria.

Amnesty International’s Nigeria branch also condemned the killing, describing it as “horrific”.

“Amnesty International strongly condemns last night’s gruesome killing of Labor Party (LP) candidate… Oyibo Chukwu, who was also burnt inside his vehicle while returning from a campaign activity in Agbani, Enugu State. Gone … Nigerian authorities should immediately order, human rights groups tweeted Thursday

Read original article here

Leave A Reply