The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Edo central senatorial district, has put its campaigns on hold indefinitely, following the violence that marred the campaign on Wednesday, 18 January, 2023.
One person was reportedly shot dead and several others sustained various degrees of injuries during the rally at Ewu, Esan Central local government area.
A source in the area told correspondent that the injured victims are currently receiving medical attention at undisclosed medical facilities in the area.
The Campaign Director for the local government, Anselm Ojezua, confirmed the loss of life, while several persons sustained various degrees of injuries in the violent incident.
He explained in a statement Thursday afternoon that the tragedy has since been reported to the police for thorough investigations.
Ojezua added that the party decided to suspend all political campaign rallies due to the unfortunate incident, until the police come up with their investigation and findings.
According to him, the outcome of the flag-off of the campaign at wards 1 to 5 of the senatorial district the previous day, was successful, as party faithful came out enmasse to show solidarity to all the candidates.
He added that the resounding success recorded at the flag off of ward 1 to 5 was what motivated the party to take its campaigns to ward 7 and 8 in Ewu, on Wednesday 18 January, 2023, an action which resulted in the violent encounter.
Continuing, Ojezua disclosed that the campaign rally had a sad occurrence when the booming sound of gun shots were heard some distance away from the venue, resulting in a stampede.
He added: “Disturbed by this sound of gun shots, the leaders of the PDP leading the rally, decided to lead their members and supporters to a safe location.
“The PDP as a peace loving political party which understands the place of the rule of law in a constitutional democracy, has reported this sad and unfortunate occurrence to the police for a thorough investigation into the matter
“We later heard of possible loss of lives in this incident, which has led us as a party to put on hold all political campaign rallies until the police come up with their investigation and findings.”
While regretting the loss of lives resulting from the incident, he prayed for the repose of the dead, assuring that all campaign rallies will resume shortly.
He said that the campaign council was waiting anxiously for the outcome of police investigation to ascertain the root cause of the violent incident.
Ojezua is a former chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, but defected to the PDP with Governor Godwin Obaseki during the run up to the 2020 governorship election in the state.