Nigeria: Opposition Senate Candidate Killed Days Before Elections

    Nigeria: Opposition Senate Candidate Killed Days Before Elections
    Last updated Feb 24, 2023
    Image credit: cnn


    • Oyibo Chukwu, a senatorial candidate from Nigeria's opposition Labor Party in southeastern Enugu State, was killed on Wednesday night by unknown gunmen, just hours after presidential candidates pledged a peaceful electoral process ahead of Saturday's vote.[1]
    • Local police confirmed on Thursday that the politician was shot and burned in his campaign vehicle along with an unnamed personal aide. While investigations are still underway, police suspect attackers belong to banned Biafran separatist groups.[2]
    • This incident comes as vehicles from two other political parties – including the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) – were also targeted in simultaneous incidents at separate locations, resulting in the killing of the driver of a People's Democratic Party (PDP) campaign minibus.[3]
    • The Nigerian Bar Association on Thursday stated it would give the authorities 48 hours to arrest the sponsors and perpetrators of this crime, vowing to take the "necessary step[s]" under the law to get justice for Chukwu if the deadline expires.[4]
    • The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that the Enugu East senatorial district election is likely to be postponed by two weeks over the passing of the Labor Party candidate if the party notifies the commission.[5]
    • More than 93M Nigerian voters will be able to cast a vote on Saturday to elect a new president, vice president, members of the House of Representatives, and senators in the first election that will not feature an incumbent or military ruler in the country's history.[6]


    Narrative A

    This horrific assassination comes at a time when Chukwu was about to oust the incumbent senator for Enugu East, Chimaroke Nnamani, as his campaign was causing worries among local political moguls. Given the horrifying record of violence related to the now APC supporter Nnamani, it's no coincidence that the political climate in the state has reached a new low this week.

    Narrative B

    Although an investigation is still underway, the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra group's fingerprints are all over these deadly simultaneous attacks against candidates from Nigeria's main political parties. This is an obvious attempt to spread terror among the nation and disrupt the electoral process ahead of Saturday's vote.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that at least 14 at-risk Nigerian states will experience Islamic State attacks from Sept. 17, 2021 to Sept. 17, 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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