Some victims of violence in the recent local government elections in Ondo State have continued to narrate their bitter experiences.
The election held on August 22 across 18 local council areas of the state.
Ondo local government election
The election was marred by violence including the snatching of ballot boxes by armed thugs.
One of those attacked during the election, Mr Banji Ayodele, said the exercise could best be described as a “charade” due to widespread violence in different areas of the state.
Ayodele, who narrated how he was attacked and beaten up by armed thugs on the day of the election, said his only offence was for challenging the disruption of the exercise.
He said, “The offence I committed was because I dared them when they came in a motorcycle to cause trouble in our polling unit in Akure South. They came with cutlasses and axes.
“They came to snatch ballot papers when we were all voting but few people like me faced them and before we knew it, they had attacked me with planks and iron rods.
“I was hit repeatedly on my legs and head. The election was a sham and since thugs could show this type of attitude, what are we going to experience during the governorship poll. I am still in pains as I talk to you.”
Another victim, Mrs Funmilola Ojo, told SaharaReporters that she was attacked in the front of her house on election day during the counting and sorting of votes.
She explained how some thugs working for a particular political party invaded her street and shot into the air to scare people away, leaving many of them injured.
She said, “This election has really taught me the lessons of my life and I am not even ready to vote in any election again because of what I experienced last Saturday. It was like war as thugs had a field day.
“Ahead of the governorship poll coming up in October, I’ve made up my mind not to vote because I can’t face violence. I was attacked right in front of my house after I had voted and stayed behind to see who was going to win.”
Ojo added that she preferred to stay indoors with her family on the day of the governorship election than coming out to vote and get injured again.
Siji Oriola, a father of two, who was attacked with broken bottles on his head, revealed that his shop was destroyed during an attack that broke out on the day of the election in Akoko.
Oriola said his offence was barring people from collecting money to vote for any party, an action that saw some armed thugs beating him up.
He said, “I’m really scared because they would still use the same thugs to perpetuate evil plans during the governorship election. I don’t want to receive another bottle on my head again.”
A commercial motorcycle rider, Mr Abiodun Olomofe, who was also a victim of the violence that took place during the council election in Ondo, said he was afraid ahead or the governorship election in the state.
He said, “If the local council election could be like war, what should we expect during the main election? That is why I might not come out to vote because I don’t want to lose my life.”
Spokesperson for the policenin the state, Mr Tee-Leo Ikoro, said they were able to manage the issues of crisis and violence in some of the polling units in the state.
He noted that the police was yet to get official complaints of attack from any victim of election violence.
He said, “We can’t be talking about numbers of attacks during election and investigation without proper complaints from victims or their families.”
SaharaReporters, New York