By Demola Akinyemi
ILORIN—One police officer and three others, including school children in Offa, sustained severed injuries from gun shots Saturday as a result of the violence that marred local governments election in the area.
The Public Relations Officer of the Kwara State Police Command, ASP Ezekiel Dabo who confirmed the incident said the officer is presently receiving treatment in one of the hospitals in the state.
Consequently, Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission, KWASIEC, has cancelled election in Offa, according to the chairman of the body, Hon Bashir Oni.
The outgoing Chairman of Offa local government council, Barrister Segun Olawoyin told newsmen yesterday that he was seriously beaten by members of the opposition party, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN.
Olawoyin alleged that vehicles parked at his family house were vandalised by the hoodlums noting that the shoot-out was between the Police and the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, thugs.
“With the way they behaved the thugs didn’t want the election to hold at all. But election took place in most parts of the local government,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN Prince Sunday Fagbemi , said “the outcome of the election has vindicated the opposition, because we have always said KWASIEC cannot conduct any free, fair, credible and acceptable election for Kwarans. They are all card carrying members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“It is my hope that the National Assembly will make a law cancelling state electoral commissions as they cannot do any one any good.”
On the outcome of the election, the ACN boss added that “we are collating the reports from the 16 local government areas after which we are going to meet to know our next line of action.
“Actually we condemn in its entirety that local government election. In deed, there was no election. No polling booth was given more than 200 ballot papers.”
Also, Human Rights Monitor, Barrister Festus Okoye who monitored the election said the election was disrupted in the 86 polling units in Offa, adding that as soon accreditation commenced, a band of youths started smashing ballot boxes, beating up electoral officials and vandalizing electoral materials.
Okoye told journalists that this development led to the deployment of a detachment of both Mobile and regular Police officers to the area, adding that vehicles belonging to individuals were smashed including a vehicles belonging to the Nigerian Television Authority.
He also said that a substantial number of the Presiding Officers that managed to escape the violence took refuge at Owode Police Station in Offa with the remnants of their materials and ballot boxes.
The human right activist said this was in sharp contrast to development in Ijagbo in Oyun local government council which was a stone throw to Offa where it was peaceful and orderly.
He disclosed further that elections were peacefully and orderly conducted in most of the local government areas of the state.