Following the attack on the residence of Prof. Hale Gabriel, the Kogi state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) have accused each other of responsibility.
The Explainer earlier reported that some yet-to-be-identified gunmen attacked the residence of the Kogi state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the early hours of Friday December 1, in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital.
The APC campaign council held a press conference on Friday and pointed fingers at the defeated SDP governorship candidate Muritala Ajaka, calling for his arrest and prosecution.
Kingsley Fanwo, the Director of Media and Publicity for the APC Campaign Council, cited the alleged violent tendencies of the SDP and its supporters as evidence of their involvement in the attack.
Fanwo claimed that the attack took place shortly after the APC had alerted the nation about the SDP thugs’ plans to target the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He further stated that the attackers engaged security agents in a fierce gun battle, leading to the burning of vehicles in the REC’s residence and the surrounding area.
In contrast, the SDP denied any involvement in the attack. A statement issued by the Muri/Sam Campaign Organization’s Director of New Media, David Ijele, condemned the assassination attempt on the INEC Resident Commissioner. Ijele emphasized that elections should not be treated as a matter of life and death, and if an election is conducted fairly and transparently, the legal process should be allowed to proceed without interference.
The SDP commended the timely intervention of the army to prevent further harm to the commissioner and his family. The attackers also reportedly set fire to vehicles and looted valuables
The incident has raised concerns about the security surrounding electoral processes and the need for a thorough investigation into the attack on the Kogi REC’s residence.