Barely 24 hours to Saturday’s governorship supplementary election in some polling units in Kogi state, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Dekina, Dekina local government area of the state has been partially destroyed by fire.
Eyewitnesses claimed that some thugs invaded the office at about 5am and set it on fire, The Nation reports.
“The thugs came in a bus, shot sporadically and razed down the office,” one of the eyewitnesses said.
The office was burnt with materials to be used for Saturday’s supplementary governorship election in the area.
Confirming the incident, Malam Halilu Pai, the resident electoral commisioner in Kogi said: “We will not succumb to the undemocratic antics of some few, replacement of the election materials are already on the way; the election will go on as scheduled.”
He added that INEC had relocated to a temporary office in the area.
Some are of the opinion that the incident was aimed at frustrating the supplementary election, while others believe it was as a result of indiscriminate bush burning by some youths on a hunting expedition.
However, security operatives are said to be looking for clues to the reason behind the fire and the people responsible.
Out of the 91 polling units where the supplementary election is supposed to take place, 29 units are in Dekina.
Meanwhile, Capt. Idris Ichala Wada, the state governor urged the people of the state to remain calm and not take the law into their hands, Vanguard reports.
Speaking in a statewide broadcast, the governor said the death of Abubakar Audu, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress and the declaration of the election as inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has thrown the state into deep uncertainties.
He stated that the people must not lose track of the fact that they were all brothers and sisters, hence, the need to preserve the peace in the state.
Wada said: “My administration believes in the rule of law and the ability of the judiciary to do justice. I have therefore approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, for the resolution of the present stalemate. Judgment is expected to be delivered by the Court on Friday, 4th December, 2015.
“I therefore urge you all, to remain calm, orderly and law abiding as we await the decision of the Court. All our people across party lines and Senatorial Zones must remain peaceful. Nobody should contemplate taking the laws into their hands.
“The Security Agencies will not hesitate to deal with anyone or group who may attempt any actions that may breach the peace and security of our state.”
Protests rocked the the eastern part of the state over the death of Prince Abubakar Audu and the decision of the of the leading party in the election, the APC to replace the late Audu with Alhaji Yahaya Bello from Kogi Central.
A group of lawyers has advised the INEC not to go ahead with the supplementary Kogi election. According to them, the All Progressives Congress (APC) could not present a candidate to replace its deceased governorship candidate, Audu.
Audu died on Sunday, November 22, a day after the inconclusive gubernatorial election and his party has replaced him with Yahaya Bello, who will contest on Saturday, December 5 in the supplementary election.