The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been urged by the Labour Party to postpone the Enugu East Senatorial District election following the untimely death of their candidate, Oyibo Chukwu. Mr Chukwu and his personal assistant were tragically murdered on Wednesday by unknown gunmen.
The Labour Party’s National Chairman, Barrister Julius Abure, stated that the postponement of the election is necessary to allow the party to conduct a fresh primary and participate in the election. Abure pointed out that Enugu state is one of the states where the Labour Party has significant support and that their candidate was poised to win the Enugu East senatorial seat in this election.
He further appealed to INEC not to permit individuals to benefit or win elections through other means, especially by silencing a candidate who is highly regarded by his constituents.
Below is the LP National Chairman’s full statement.
LABOUR PARTY CALLS FOR POSTPONEMENT OF ELECTION IN ENUGU EAST SENATORIAL DISTRICT OVER MURDER OF CANDIDATE
Barely 72 hours to the February 25, 2023 general election, our candidate for the Enugu East senatorial district, Honourable Oyibo Chukwu was gruesomely murdered and his remains set ablaze along with his vehicle.
The gunmen according to reports also killed were five of his supporters who were with him inside his car at Amechi Awkunanaw, Enugu South Local Government Area on Wednesday evening.
It would be recalled that the Labour Party campaigns and political activities had been attacked on several occasions both in Enugu state and several other states
The national leadership of the Labour Party is disturbed by the level of attack on its candidates, officials and supporters across the nation. We condemn the act and we call on the security agents to be on top of the matter. It is becoming a tradition where people attack our candidates all over the country.
It would be recalled that our senatorial candidate in Ebonyi South, Hon Linus Okorie was kidnapped on his way to his house, in Ebonyi state on Sunday, October 16, 2022 allegedly by the personnel of the South East Vigilante outfit, Ebubeagu. He was tortured, incarcerated and denied his basic right for weeks.
I want to also recall what happened to our party in Anambra State when our governorship candidate, Hon. Obiora Agbasimelo was kidnapped at the heart of campaign and as I speak, nothing has been heard about him.
Our women leader in Kaduna state was also brutally murdered. Two more persons were also killed in that state.
Only recently our campaign rally in Lagos was attacked and several of our members were injured and their properties vandalized. We also gathered that one of the victims of that mindless attack was amputated a few days ago.
This killing in Enugu state is the climax of it all. This is certainly a threat to democracy and to the 2023 general election, where candidates are not secured and are killed.
The Labour Party is therefore calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to postpone the election in Enugu East senatorial district to enable us conduct a fresh primaries and participate in the election.
Enugu state is one of the states where our party enjoys maximum support and our candidate is on course to win the Enugu East senatorial seat in this election. We therefore believe that INEC should not allow people to benefit or win election through other means particularly, by silencing a candidate who is loved by his people.
We insists that this development if allowed will have major consequences in the political development in Nigeria. No electoral victory is worth the life of any person and our institutions must not allow this to become a norm.
We therefore call on our party members and supporters in Enugu state to remain calm even in the face of this outrageous provocation and also be law abiding, as the party will do everything within its means to ensure that this killing is not swept under the carpet.
Let me also condole with the immediate family of Honourable Oyibo Chukwu and the entire Labour party family over this painful loss and I pray that God will give us the fortitude to bear this loss.