Corps Member Shot Dead During Rivers Re-run Polls


The news yesterday revealed a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member on election duties who had lost his life through gun shot during Rivers state legislative election on Saturday March 19.

Okonta Samuel Dumebi , an orphan, who hailed from Illah in Delta State, was on duty at Ahoada West Local Government Area where he and two of his colleagues were attacked and shot at by hoodlums who were trying to frustrate the conduct of a free and fair election.

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Unlike the two others were lucky to escape into hiding, including another Corps member Anana Aniekan Udoetor, who was declared missing after the shooting, but later returned alive, Okonta was shot dead.

The NYSC yesterday confirmed Okonta’s death, describing his killing as “primitive, barbaric and ungodly”. Official statement issued by NYSC management confirmed Okonta Dumebi Samuel’s (RV/15B/5539) death during the weekend.

“Corps member Okonta Samuel, who until his demise served at GCSS Ukpeliede, was shot dead by some unknown gunmen in Ahoada West Local Government Area.”

They expressed regret and condemned the violent means through which the young orphan was killed and pledge to work with relevant agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of such heinous crime are caught to face the wrath of law.

“We consider Okonta Samuel’s death as a great loss, not only to his immediate family, but also to all of us in the NYSC family and the entire nation.“May the Almighty God grant him eternal rest, and give his immediate family and the rest of us the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

The late Okonta attended Illah Grammar School and Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State.

Illah Community Youths expressed shock over Dumebi’s death, describing as it “great loss”. Commenting on Dumebi’s social page yesterday, Mary Obosi Egbuchiem, who lives in Abuja, wrote: “What a world we are. The last time I saw you (the late Dumebi) was during my son’s dedication. Oh God, come and rescue your children from the hands of death. Tears. RIP Dumebi.”

Uzor Amos wrote: “My best friend is no more. What sad news. In fact, I can’t believe this. Well, may your soul rest in peace my brother and friend.”

Ojubi Ezenwa, another Illah youth, wrote: “What a bitter story. Unforgettable pains have been caused to us, we the youth of Illah. I can’t still believe you are no more. Rest in peace is all we have to say, brother. But, it is so sad that we did not see again, until I heard that you are dead.”

Obiageli Nwokocha, who broke the news to Illah youth, wrote: “Of what purpose was the rerun election in Rivers State to the poor and innocent masses? Dead bodies found all over the state. Why are politicians killing those who are not part of them? I am writing this with a heavy heart. It is only in Nigeria that youth service is risky. If Boko Haram did not kill Corps members, politicians will…

“Losing old people is better than losing a young vibrant youth that should make great impact to our future. Dumebi Okonta Samuel! I am speechless, shocked and in pain. You left so early without a notice. You only went to serve your fatherland, but it is obvious the land does not serve you well. I have always known you to have good relationship with God. I pray that the Lord receive and welcome your soul to heaven. To my Illah youth and friends, we need to embrace God. RIP my friend.”

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No fewer than seven people were also believed to have been killed in various parts of the state in the bloody election. But the police said four people died and that 22 people were arrested.

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will investigate the allegation that some fake result sheets were being distributed during the election. The alleged distribution of fake result sheets resulted in violence in some parts of the state, leading to the cancellation of the election in some local government areas on election day.

The commission’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said a meeting had been slated for tomorrow to review the election, which could not be concluded as a result of the violence.

Osaze-Uzzi insisted that there was no way fake election materials could have been distributed by INEC’s election officers. He said the allegation of fake result that was distributed will be investigated. He also said there would be a meeting on Wednesday with the Rivers Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), monitors and supervisors who went to the state for the election.

Uzzi said the issue will be discussed during the meeting afterwards, a public statement would be released on their findings. On when the commission would release the remaining results of the election, he said the decision on it would be taken at the Wednesday meeting.

“We are not going back to the state until the atmosphere is conducive to have a violent-free election. But I don’t want to pre-empt anything ahead of the Wednesday meeting.”

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