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Soldiers killings: Residents vacate Rivers community ahead Saturday guber election




AHEAD Saturday 9th March governorship election, residents of Aboneema in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, River States have started leaving their homes in droves.

The residents, in a viral video posted online were seen in the video footage with luggage and bag-packs, vacating the community, following claims that some hoodlums killed three military personnel in the community.

During the last presidential election held 23rd February, several communities in River State were under attack, leading to the death of a female NYSC corps member.

There were also reported cases of ballot box snatching by gunmen. Aside, a solider and five other persons were killed during the last poll.

These incidences of electoral violence did not go unnoticed by international election observers and civil society organisations. The violence reportedly marred the 2019 poll.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, on Tuesday alleged the soldiers were killed by ‘paid agents.’

He affirmed that the three soldiers were killed during the last election and their guns carted away.

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“A lieutenant was standing protecting INEC staffs. Hired killers came all the way from …. I won’t mention names, opened fire on military men and killed one. Please what do you expect from the soldiers, they should fold their arms as they kill them all? Amaechi queried.

He noted that when the soldiers responded in self-defence, people were complaining, in an area, he described as predominantly dominated by militants.

“Two days after the election, they go back to that same place and killed three soldiers and cart away their guns. I am not away.”

However, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has announced that security operatives would ruthlessly deal with anyone who may plan to disrupt the voting process during the next Saturday’s election.

He spoke after a meeting with the Service Chiefs organised by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The security we had during the presidential election is being enhanced to provide an enabling environment for everybody to come out and vote for their preferred candidates.

“We will again advise those that may want to disrupt the process to rethink because, during the presidential election, you heard some few challenges both here and there. Those challenges are not going to repeat themselves.”

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Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at oadanikin@icirnigeria.org. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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