Home » Latest Politics » Jos:3 killed, 4 injured Jos-4 machines disappear in Oyo, reappear w/ 2,000 names

Jos:3 killed, 4 injured Jos-4 machines disappear in Oyo, reappear w/ 2,000 names

STILL smarting from the recent  incidents that claimed the lives of many and paralysed  business activities, residents of Jos, Plateau State, witnessed another tragedy on Monday, as

three people died in the troubled Jos North Local Government Area of the state in the ongoing voter registration.

Nigerian Tribune learnt that the ongoing registration turned violent in the early hours of Monday at  the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) centre for the collection of materials at Saint Philip Secondary School, Tina Junction, in Jos North Local Government Area.

An eyewitness told the Nigerian Tribune  that while a soldier was escorting seven INEC ad hoc staff, believed to be Hausa/Fulani,  to the centre to collect materials, a group of youths in the area confronted them, demanding why the soldier was escorting the seven officials to the area.

They alleged that, that was how  soldiers deployed to maintain peace in the state often aided the Hausas to launch attacks on them. The youth, in the process, resisted the attempt by the soldier to lead the INEC ad hoc staff to the collection centre.

It was gathered that the altercation and the struggle that ensued attracted the attention of other men of the Special Task Force (STF) within the vicinity who made spirited attempts to rescue the seven from being maltreated by the youth.

Nigerian Tribune learnt that the situation further degenerated and led to  open confrontation between the youth and the men of the STF. The youth were said to have hurled stones at the STF men.

It further learnt that men of the STF, in self defence and in an attempt to rescue the seven officials from being lynched, opened fire on the youth, killing two of them on the spot while four others sustained varying degrees of injury.

Nigerian Tribune further learnt that the youth killed one of the seven while men of the STF were able to aid the escape of the remaining six. The incident initially disrupted registration in the local government area, but normalcy was later restored and the registration continued.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Abdulrahman Akano, who confirmed the incident to the Nigerian Tribune, said three people were killed in the fracas, adding that in self defence, the STF mistakenly shot two while the rampaging youth killed one of the seven people the law enforcement agents were trying to rescue.

He appealed to the people of the state, especially the people of Jos North Local Government Area, to desist from taking the law into their hands and always consider the consequences of their action.

In another development, two fake corps members were arrested in connection with the ongoing voter registration in Ibadan, on Monday.

Also, in Ibadan, four Direct Data Capture (DDC) machines were discovered to be missing on Saturday, while some were yet to arrive at the registration centres as of 3.00 p.m. on Monday.

It was gathered that the four machines got missing at the Methodist Primary School, Bodija, which were later returned around 12 noon on Sunday with about 500 people already registered and their fingerprints captured in each of the machines.

The primary school is located within Ibadan North Local Government area of the state.

Findings showed that the council has about 42 registration centres but only 38 machines were taken to the headquarters by INEC officials, a situation which nearly caused pandemonium but for the immediate intervention of the security operatives stationed at the centre to ensure violence-free registration.

Though, the details were still scanty at the time of filing this report, it was learnt that the fake youth corps members were apprehended at Odo-Ona Elewe in Oluyole Local Government area of the state by some security operatives patrolling the area.

Reacting, the spokesperson of INEC in Oyo State, Alhaji  Ayodele Folami, claimed ignorance but maintained that the registration officer in the area would make adequate report of such incident.

Among areas also visited were St. Mathias Anglican Primary School, Orogun, in Akinyele Local Government;  Adegbayi in Egbeda Local Government Area and other councils within Ibadan metropolis. Major complaints of the electorate were slow pace and late arrival of the machines.

Meanwhile, the registration exercise which started on a shaky note on Saturday seemed to have picked up as centres visited by our reporter recorded fair turnout of prospective voters after Sunday’s service and they were attended to by the officials.

At two different centres visited in Orogun, Akinyele Local Government area of the state, voters were seen on queue waiting to be attended to, while the registration officers seemed to have mastered the use of the DDC machines better than on Saturday.

Meanwhile, as the voter registration entered its third day nationwide on Monday, a lawmaker representing Akpabuyo constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly, Honourable Effiom Etim an inspector in of police and three others were a rrested by the police for allegedly snatching an INEC Direct Data Capture (DDC) machine.

The men were said to have been arrested by a team of security agents on Sunday and detained at the Crime Investigation Bureau (CIB) of the Cross River State police command at Diamond Hill.

The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Mike Igini, who confirmed the incident to the Nigerian Tribune on Monday, said the suspects were apprehended because they were said to have moved the registration machine from the designated centre to an unknown venue.

He said the police would arraign the lawmaker and others in court as soon as investigations were concluded on the matter, stressing that “nobody will be spared” as far as the exercise was concerned.

Igini said: “Even myself, if I do anything wrong, get me out. Imagine, the governor humbled himself and went to register at the designated point but at Akpabuyo, some people moved the machine out of the designated centre.”

Commenting on the current registration, he hinted at plans by some people to create the impression that INEC officials had not been able to master the machines well.

“What is happening now is a national problem that the machine does not capture [image] easily. It takes time and it has nothing to do with the competence of those operating it,” Igini explained.

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Etim Dickson, confirmed the arrest of the legislator and four others, just as the Nigerian Tribune sighted the alleged persons at the CIB of the Cross River State police command.

-Tribune

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Posted by on Jan 17 2011. Filed under Latest Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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