By Akpos Oghenetega,
Residents of Sapele in Sapele Local government area of Delta State have threatened to stay away from tomorrow’s (Saturday) local government elections, following worsening security in the town.
Recall that the past few months Sapele has been a hotbed of cult-related killing, with the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Sapele branch, estimating the number of people who had lost their lives in the past two months to be as high as 12.
In December, two days to New Year, hairstylist, Adams Amakel Eguvwese popularly known as 10/10 was shot dead in broad daylight in Sapele, amidst pockets of young men and women who have been gun down in their prime.
Just last week, gunmen reportedly shot and killed a Special Assistant to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Youth Development, Okiemute Sowho. Daddy K as he was popularly known, and with two, to three deaths, a result of gunmen brazenly shooting people to death in what residents have nickname “Mogambo”
However, some of Sapele residents in protest against insecurity in the town have vowed to stay away from the local government polls, accusing the state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of not taking decisive action to stem the ugly trend.
Advocate.ng correspondent which conducted a sample of some residents revealed that many are apprehensive that the election centers for violence attacked, hence many are staying away.
Afoke Onobrudu, a trades who sell wrappers said it will be stupid of her to think of coming out to vote when the town is yet to experience peace “my brother leave Army and police o, we still hear gunshots at times and the best thing to do is to stay away from this election.”
A mechanic, Friday Amaturu, said though the presence of soldiers and other security forces has brought a little sanity, he was not sure of voting at the polls on Saturday, “vote ke!, I don’t think so, I am scared of my life so I won’t vote come tomorrow, it is better to stay at home than stories that touch later, I will definitely be at home that day for fear of any problem that will arise”
Another trader at the Sapele market, Jimoh Anjorin, said he was staying away because the local government campaign team has refused to talk about the insecurity in the town “that shows they have started deceiving us, tell Okowa that though we are satisfy with his response, they should tell us what are the plans to keep them permanently away, tell him we are not coming out to vote.”
Meanwhile, residents of the town have accused men of the Nigeria police force of receiving gratifications, insisting they are complicating insecurity in the town, Adogbeji Amos narrated how the police on weekend at a stop and search along the Ajogodo area of the town demanded money from motorists.
“Their stop and search were not for arms search but for anybody driving a flashy car and openly demanding for money, the soldiers are not like that, please let the Commissioner of Police call them to order, the search is for arms, not a collection of cash as they openly displayed that day.”
Another resident, Ejiro Onajite, said the police, be it Area Command or the Divisional Policemen, should stop extorting Sapele resident, he said why commending the government for the relative peace, the town is currently enjoying.