The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has postponed the Enugu East Senatorial District election earlier scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday in Enugu State.
The chairman of the Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, who announced the postponement at a briefing in Abuja on Friday, said the election will now hold March 11 alongside the Governorship and State’s House of Assembly elections.
The cancellation was sequel to the murder of the Labour Party (LP) candidate for the election, Oyibo Chukwu.
Information Nigeria had reported that Chukwu was set ablaze alongside five supporters in his vehicle while returning to Enugu on Thursday.
According to Yakubu, campaign in the senatorial district can continue until 24 hours before the elections slated for March 11.
“I expect the party to conduct primaries as early as next week,” he said.
“The campaign that ended last night was for presidential and national assembly elections and not for the states and houses of assembly elections.”
However, Casmir Agbo, chairman of the Labour Party in the State, described the death of the candidate as shocking.
Agbo, who spoke to journalists at the Party’s secretariat, said the LP wrote the INEC informing it of Chukwu’s demise.
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“INEC advised us and we met and wrote to INEC Abuja through the National Headquarters in line with Section 33 and 34. The party has 14 days to nominate another candidate for substitution.
“In line with the Electoral Ect, we have done what we ought to do and yesterday INEC cancelled the election. We will hold our primary election in the next 14 days.
“So the election has been cancelled and a new date will be fixed by INEC.”
He insisted that contrary to claims in some quarters, the senatorial candidate was assassinated.
“Someone who was shot in his vehicle and set ablaze.
“They planned it, the man was coming back from his village Amuri and they double crossed him at Amechi. They shot him in his car alongside other occupants and poured fuel in his vehicle and burnt it. So it wasn’t an accident or armed robbery; nothing like that. It was well planned and executed.
“He was murdered. Oyibo Chukwu was murdered by assailants. Investigations are still on but the Party sees it as a political murder.
“His death will not deter the party; it will rather act as a boost. We won’t lose another person, but we shall win this election in a landslide victory.
“Enugu East belongs to the Labour Party. Enugu State belongs to the Labour Party. Killing somebody will not deter us.”