Kaduna lawmakers escape mob attack over alleged stealing of election materials

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Two All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers in Kaduna State and an electoral officer narrowly escaped being lynched in the rescheduled council poll at Kujama, headquarters of Chikun Local Council.The elections were inconclusive in some council areas during the May 12 polls in the state, for which a re-run poll was scheduled for June 6 in Chikun, Kaura and Jaba councils.

Representative of Igabi federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Abubakar Mohammed Mamadi, and representative of Chikun in the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Mark Yari, were allegedly caught stealing election materials at the council secretariat in Kujama.They were consequently held hostage for hours before a combination of heavily armed soldiers and Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was deployed to rescue them.The SARS had to fire several tear gas canisters to clear the way, as they moved the lawmakers and the electoral officer away in a patrol van at a neck breaking speed, as the mob threw stones at the police.

They were alleged to have arrived the council secretariat with a top government official, thugs and some policemen.They were beaten up and almost lynched by the angry mob who stormed the secretariat, while the thugs allegedly escaped to Kaduna with the voting machines.Three Peugeot saloon cars, including the one carrying the election materials were deflated.

Consequently, hundreds of armed security personnel deployed to the area had a hectic time trying to protect the lawmakers and the electoral officer from the mob who forced their way into the secretariat after breaking the gate.An official of the Kaduna State Electoral Commission (KAD-SIECOM), who was posted to the area for the election, said the theft of the election materials occurred at 6:00 am yesterday.

The official, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed that Mamadi and Yari came with a top government official and thugs who were armed to the teeth. “They took a former electoral officer of the local government at gun point and ordered her to open the place. She opened it and they took the electronic voting machines before the thugs and the government official left.“Unfortunately for them, she didn’t give them the result sheets, but the lawmakers collected the forms.”

“However, the youths, who were immediately alerted stormed the secretariat and descended on them. They would have been killed but for the police intervention. As they were about to leave the youths blocked them at the gate but the government official was lucky to have left.Mamadi declined comments on the issue, while Yari denied the allegations, saying he had no hand in stealing of the election materials.

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