Kaduna LG Bye-Election: Lawmakers escape lynching over alleged ballot box snatching

From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

A member representing Igabi Federal Constituency at the Green Chamber of the National Assembly, Honourable Abubakar Mamadi and a member representing Chikun Constituency in Kaduna State House of Assembly, Honourable Mike Yari yesterday narrowly escaped being lynched by angry youths who alleged that the two lawmakers diverted electoral materials for the Local Government Bye-election in Kujama and Kakau wards all in Chikun Local Government Area.
The two lawmakers were sighted within the Secretariat of the Local Government in Kujama at about 8:15am, and the youths became suspicious when they sighted the lawmakers going through a white paper on the car booth of one of them. The youth then concluded that it was electoral materials meant for their ward and quickly rushed towards them and there was chaos.
The lawmakers were given the beatings of their lives before intervention of security agents.
The security agents rushed the lawmakers into the secretariat for safety and locked the gate; but the youths, in their hundreds, forcefully brought down the gate and went after the lawmakers throwing all available missiles at their disposal at them.
Sensing that the situation may get out of hand, security reinforcement was called for, but this did not deterred the youth who kept chanting: “Thieves, thieves.”
At this point, the security agents made up of Mobile policemen, Nigerian Army and Nigeria Civil Defense Corp brought out the lawmakers from their custody, shooting tear gas and live bullets to scare the youths away and managed to whisk Honourables Mamadi and Yari to safety.
However, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Chikun Local Government, Barnabas Jatau said the lawmakers were assigned to monitor the peaceful and fair conduct of the election in the two wards and have nothing to do with snatching of ballot boxes.
Yari’s cloths were torn to shreds while Mamadi sustained an injury on his chest, and is said to be receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital in Kaduna metropolis.
In a swift reaction, the spokesperson of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Chikun Local Government, Deacon Mai Wada, informed newsmen that when his party’s team arrived at the secretariat they discovered that two ballot boxes were missing; and an eyewitness informed them that the boxes were taken away by Honourable Uba Sani, Special Adviser to Governor El-Rufai on Political Affairs.
Some of the placards carried by the youths read: “Bring back our Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), thieves,” “Stolen Electronic Voting Machines must be returned,” “#Notopoliticalthieves.”

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