Enugu: No life was lost during exercise in coal city state, police

The Enugu State command of the Nigeria Police and the state government have described as false claims that lives were lost during Saturday’s council election.

Senior Special Assistant on Intergovernmental and Electoral Matters, Vincent Egechukwu Obetta, in a statement admitted there had been a “minor scuffle” but added that nobody was killed.

The police in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, also said neither death nor injuries were recorded in an altercation that occurred in the Oji River Secretariat of the state.

Obetta said: “The attention of the state government has been drawn to allegations of loss of lives, violence and manipulations during Saturday’s council election in various local government councils and wards of Enugu State, as well as calls for cancellation of the exercise.

“These allegations and calls, coming from opponents of government, members of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) including a former governor of the state, and a director general of a federal agency, are to the effect that non-availability of result sheets, late commencement of the exercise, among other forms of violence, were meted to their candidates and supporters while the exercise lasted. They claimed that their supporters were barred from performing their legitimate civic responsibilities.

“As much as we acknowledge that no system in the world is perfect, we wish to restate our earlier position that elections held on Saturday in the 17 local government areas and 260 political wards were relatively peaceful and could pass the test of credibility in any election organised by any democratic government.

“Enugu state government abhors violence and would not deliberately set out to visit one on any of her citizens, as no amount of struggle for power could compensate for the loss of human blood or death of her citizen or resident.

“Be that as it may however, we wish to state unequivocally that the exercise held on Saturday did not record any loss of life in any form, anywhere in the state, contrary to reports in some national dailies. No one was killed or attacked in Oji River Council as being peddled by some opponents of the state government, as reported in the national dailies.

“There was a minor scuffle at the Oji River council secretariat involving opponents and supporters of political parties, which attracted the police. In an attempt by the police to ensure peace however, minor injuries were recorded by some of those involved. This however does not translate to ‘killing of three persons’ as insinuated.”

On allegations that thugs working for the state government pummeled the former governorship candidate of the APC, Okey Ezea, Obetta said such was not only deceitful but showed the extent people could go in telling lies to achieve political power.



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