Nigeria’s opposition senatorial candidate killed in Enugu State.
Tragedy struck on Wednesday as a senatorial candidate from Nigeria’s opposition Labour Party was shot and killed by unidentified gunment in the southeastern Enugu State.
This disturbing event adds to a series of violent incidents that have taken place in the region as the country approaches a critical national election.
The country is gearing up for its upcoming presidential and legislative elections, scheduled to take place on Saturday, 25th February 2023.
President Buhari, who has served the maximum two terms allowed by the constitution, will be stepping down and the race to succeed him features three candidates and is being touted as the most unpredictable in recent history.
However, the build-up to the elections has been plagued by violent incidents, which is a concerning pattern seen in previous polls in the country.
Sadly, the violence sorrounding the elections has taken a tragic turn, as the Labour Party candidate Oyibo Chukwu was shot and killed in Enugu State. The killing occurred despite the parties and presidential candidates signing a pledge to support a peaceful electoral process.
The police have confirmed the incident, adding to the growing tension and uncertainty in the leap-up to the elections.
Labour Party chairman in the Enugu South local government area, Chiwuba Ngwu, said Senatorial candidate Oyibo Chukwu was ambushed and killed while returning from a campaign trail.
“He was shot dead and then set ablaze in his vehicle with his driver and one of his boys,” Ngwu said.
“It is a devastating development for us. We are suspecting political assassination because he is favoured to win the election,” he said.
US President Joe Biden has called for a peaceful and transparent electoral process, urging all parties and candidates to accept the results when they announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“All Nigerians deserve this chance to choose their future-freely and fairly,” Biden said in a statement.
“While the United States does not support any single candidate or party, we strongly support a peaceful and transparent process that reflects the will of the people of Nigeria.”
The upcoming election features a diverse group of candidates from different backgrounds and political parties. The three main contenders are former Lagos Governor Bola Tinubu, 70, who represents the rulling party, former vice president Atiku Abubakar, 76, representing the main opposition party that was in power from 1999 to 2015 and Peter Obi, 61, an anti-establishment candidate who has gained popularity among many young voters.
Each candidate has their own unique platform and vision for the future of Nigeria. Tinubu (APC) is running on a platform of economic growth and security. Abubakar (PDP), has promised to prioritize job creation and poverty reduction while Peter Obi (Independent) has emphasized his commitment to anti-corruption measures and promoting social justice.
The outcome of this race is widely considered to be unpredictable and will be closely watched by both Nigeria citizens and international observers.