From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja

The Labour Party (LP) has called for the postponement of elections in Enugu East senatorial district following the murder of the party’s candidate.

According to a statement signed by LP National Chairman Julius Abure on Thursday, the party’s candidate for the Enugu East senatorial district, Oyibo Chukwu, was gruesomely murdered and his remains set ablaze along with his vehicle barely 72 hours to the February 25 general election.

The gunmen, according to reports also killed five of his supporters who were with him inside his car at Amechi Awkunanaw, Enugu South Local Government Area on Wednesday evening.

“The Labour Party campaigns and political activities had been attacked on several occasions both in Enugu state and several other states,” Abure said.

“The national leadership of the Labour Party is disturbed by the level of attack on its candidates, officials and supporters across the nation. We condemn the act and we call on the security agents to be on top of the matter. It is becoming a tradition where people attack our candidates all over the country.

“It would be recalled that our senatorial candidate in Ebonyi South, Hon Linus Okorie was kidnapped on his way to his house, in Ebonyi state on Sunday, October 16, 2022, allegedly by the personnel of the South East Vigilante outfit, Ebubeagu. He was tortured, incarcerated and denied his basic right for weeks.

“I want to also recall what happened to our party in Anambra State when our governorship candidate, Hon. Obiora Agbasimelo was kidnapped at the heart of the campaign and as I speak, nothing has been heard about him.

“Our women leader in Kaduna state was also brutally murdered. Two more persons were also killed in that state.

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“Only recently our campaign rally in Lagos was attacked and several of our members were injured and their properties vandalized. We also gathered that one of the victims of that mindless attack was amputated a few days ago.

“This killing in Enugu State is the climax of it all. This is certainly a threat to democracy and to the 2023 general election, where candidates are not secured and are killed.

“The Labour Party is therefore calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to postpone the election in Enugu East senatorial district to enable us to conduct fresh primaries and participate in the election.

“Enugu State is one of the states where our party enjoys maximum support and our candidate is on course to win the Enugu East senatorial seat in this election. We, therefore, believe that INEC should not allow people to benefit or win elections through other means particularly, by silencing a candidate who is loved by his people.

“We insist that this development if allowed will have major consequences in the political development in Nigeria. No electoral victory is worth the life of any person and our institutions must not allow this to become a norm.

The National Chairman further called on the party’s members and supporters in Enugu state to remain calm even in the face of the outrageous provocation and also be law-abiding.

“The party will do everything within its means to ensure that this killing is not swept under the carpet.

“Let me also condole with the immediate family of Oyibo Chukwu and the entire Labour party family over this painful loss and I pray that God will give us the fortitude to bear this loss,” he added.