Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has expressed displeasure over the high rate of election violence recorded at the polls this year, with special emphasis on the recent assassination of an Oyo state lawmaker, Hon. Temitope Olatoye, during the March 9 governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
Backstory: Dogara in a statement offering his condolences to the family of the late Hon. Olatoye, who represented Lagelu/Akinyele Federal Constituency of Oyo state, described him as “a fine gentleman, committed patriot, dedicated, hardworking lawmaker and worthy representative of his people.”
“We mourn him and all those whose lives were cut short by forces of evil and soulless men. Our heartfelt condolences to their families, and we pray for speedy recovery for all those injured.”
The late lawmaker who was among several other casualties recorded during Saturday’s elections, passed away after sustaining wounds in his eyes, as a result of a gunshot by political thugs at a collation centre in Eleshu, Lagelu Local Government Area.
Nigeria, Still in the Dark: Dogara made it known that he was disappointed, that 20 years into democracy, Nigerians still had to resort to violence when conducting elections.
He further described Olatoye’s assassination and other cases of violence recorded across the country as “primitive, wicked, inhumane, barbaric and highly condemnable.”
“The rate of killings, thuggery, ballot snatching, voter suppression and other forms of electoral malpractices – some aided and abetted by security agencies- in these elections portend great danger to our democracy and the survival of the Nigerian nation, since the will of the people as expressed in the ballot does not always count.”
“It is unbelievable that 20 years after return to civilian rule, Nigeria is still stuck in the dark, primitive and uncivilized age where elections are seen as war and a do-or-die affair”, the statement read.”
The speaker called on President Muhammadu Buhari to properly address the situation, and ensure that those perpetuating these attacks are brought to book.
“The killers of Hon Sugar and all those who lost their lives in election related violence must be brought to book. We call on the President and Commander-in-Chief to set up a commission to investigate these killings and bring the perpetrators to book.”