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ROUNDUP: Election-related Violence Continues With 15 More Deaths

Posted by DPA on 2007/04/14 | Views: 751 |

ROUNDUP: Election-related Violence Continues With 15 More Deaths


Ongoing violence in the run-up to elections in Nigeria claimed 15 more lives on Saturday as the election of governors in the country's 36 component states was underway.

Ongoing violence in the run-up to elections in Nigeria claimed 15 more lives on Saturday as the election of governors in the country's 36 component states was underway.

Thugs, policemen and bystanders were among those killed in election-related clashes involving ruling and opposition political party supporters, soldiers and thugs.

Attacks on police stations, offices belonging to the country's electoral body, houses and vehicles were reported throughout the country preparing for parliamentary and presidential elections on April 21.

Four people were killed in the Ikare-Akoko area of Akure in Ondo State, two of whom were described as suspected thugs who engaged in a gun battle over an attempt by some politicians to cart away ballot boxes.

Armed soldiers intervened to stop the thugs, reportedly supported by Deputy Governor Omolade Oluwateru, from carting away ballot boxes and were able to recover some of the boxes. Two other people were killed when police opened fire on the bus in which they were travelling.

Meanwhile, two people were confirmed killed in Lagos, the country's commercial capital where a gunmen on Saturday attacked a truck conveying election materials from Sagamu in Ogun State. The vehicle transporting ballot papers, caps and bags, was riddled with bullets.

The driver said he ran into the ambush in the early hours. The attackers fled after one of them was gunned down by an accompanying security agent.

A policeman was killed in Abeokuta, in the south-west of the country.

In similar incidents, seven policemen and one other person were killed in Port Harcourt in the River State of the Niger Delta, where two police stations were torched by unknown attackers.

Incidents in Port Harcourt's Elemi and Miniokoro, included an attack on the home of a gubernatorial running mate by a mob using dynamite.

River State Police Commissioner Felix Ogbaudu confirmed the incidents, saying, the attackers had shouted "this election will not hold" before destroying guns, case files and other documents and releasing some suspects being held at the police stations.

The commanding officer of the Miniokoro police station in Port Harcourt, Charles Onyama, said 108 shells of various calibre explosives were recovered after the attack on the station.

In the Achalla and Ogbara areas of Ananbra State, in south-eastern Nigeria, attackers torched two officers of the Independent National Electoral commission and a private residence.

In Kiama, Kwara State, central Nigeria, three houses and five vehicles were torched in clashes between supporters of the Democratic People's Party and the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP).

Investigations showed that clashes erupted when it became known that some election materials were being kept at the house of a PDP chieftain instead of the office of the electoral agency.

Police spokesman in the area, Gideon Marcus, confirmed the incident and said 12 people were arrested.

In Kebbi State, in Nigeria's north-west, European Union observers expressed satisfaction over the smooth start of the elections in the state.

The team's leader, who refused to disclose his name, said the observers had been advised not to talk to anybody about the conduct of the elections, but added that he was highly impressed by the turn- out of voters.

He said his team had so far visited four polling centres.

An estimated 65 million Nigerians have registered to cast their ballots next Saturday to elect a new parliament and successor for President Olusegun Obansanjo.

2007 DPA

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Comments (2)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown