Following last Wednesday’s gruesome murder of the senatorial candidate of the Labour Party for Enugu East Senatorial District, Mr Oyibo Chukwu by unknown gunmen, the Amuri community where he hails from, has called for the total postponement of the 2023 elections.
Speaking to newsmen at the Enugu residence of late Oyibo Chukwu on Friday, the community said there cannot be any free, free and credible elections in an atmosphere of violence and killings.
The community who decried the carnage unleashed on their son, called for security protection for the family of the deceased and those campaigning, voting and vying for elections for different elective positions in the state.
They insisted that campaigns and elections cannot be conducted in an environment devoid of adequate security and protection of lives and properties, calling on the Nigerian security agencies and the international community to intervene in the matter.
Part of the statement reads: “Darkness has befallen Enugu State and Nigeria. Oyibo Chukwu is a good and honest man. He served his people and Nigeria through the constitutional conference, all the way to being a leader in the Nigerian Bar Association.
“Today, he’s gone because he wants to serve and because he loves his nation. We, the Amuri people are seeking for justice for Oyibo Chukwu. We’re asking that the conspiracy of silence has to end. Somebody saw something, somebody witnessed something, somebody knew something. The security apparatus cannot do much without those who saw or knew something doing something about what they saw.
“We the Amuri people are calling on the entire nation and the international community to intervene. There cannot be free and fair election when people’s blood have been spilled. How do we go out and vote when there’s no protection?
We’re happy that INEC has postponed the election of Enugu East Senatorial District based on what the law says but we believe that more should be done. It shouldn’t end with Enugu East Senatorial District because one would wonder who else will go to vote tomorrow if at this time we don’t know what happened to our brother.
We are begging the entire Enugu State, Nigeria and the International Community. Let’s stop faking this. The violence is real, the bloodletting is real. Oyibo is dead. He did nothing rather than wanting to serve. We need a total postponement of the election. That is what we’re calling for.
“We cannot have a democracy where people’s lives are at stake, where they kill people because they came out to campaign or vote. That won’t be called a free and fair election. It’s a bloody election. It’s either the Nigerian government is able to protect both those who are vying for position and those voting or they call it off.
We need protection. Amuri people needs protection. We have been targeted. Oyibo was not just the only one killed, there is also five others that were involved and there’s another person killed from the PDP. There were also people shot from the side of the APC gubernatorial candidate. We cannot have election when people are dying. You cannot tell people to go out and vote when clearly, they cannot exercise their right without fear of losing their lives.
We still have candidates of various minority political parties who do not have any security and they are moving around and campaigning. No protection from DSS, no protection from the Army or Police.
“We’re asking the security agents to provide security for Oyibo Chukwu’s family. There’s no presence of security vehicle here, no Police, DSS or Army. The family needs protection. We don’t know why he’s killed. We don’t know who killed him but there’s need for his family to be protected.”