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By Okosun Dennis


The violence that marred Saturday’s gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections in Lagos state wasn’t peculiar to only the civilian populace as an officer, a Major of the Nigerian Army wasn’t spared as he narrowly escaped death after being stabbed in his hand while rescuing an abducted voter by some thugs at Sango-Tedo area in Etiosa local government area, Lagos state.

Our correspondent who covered Lekki/Ajah axis gathered that  Major Augustine Kolawole Bello, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 9 Brigade, Ikeja Cantonment, was stabbed in his left hand in an attempt to rescue a voter that was abducted by some thugs.

It was gathered the unnamed voter within the Sango-Tedo axis was abducted while he was about to cast his vote and taken into a secluded area with his hands tied with ropes to his back.

A visibly frightened relative of the abductee shouted for help and attracted the army patrol within the Area of Responsibility, complaining that his brother was abducted and were about to be killed. As a result, people ran helter-skelter while INEC staff also ran for safety, throwing everybody into disarray

His shout for help attracted troops of the Nigerian Army as Major Bello, who has had orders from a superior officer, led other soldiers to rescue the victim.

The officer who went for the rescue mission acted professionally by playing his role according to the Rules of Engagement by saving the life of the abducted victim. However, being cautious of life didn’t fire any shot even when his life was visibly in danger.

It was further learnt that just as they saw the abducted victim, the abductees, who were in large numbers, brought out their dangers and began to stab the victim.

The Commander, 9 Brigade, Brig Gen Isangubong Akpaumontia, who was in the entourage when the incident happened, was viciously furious as his staff officer was stabbed while rescuing an abducted civilian.

An angry voter who spoke with our correspondent and identified as Bankole applauded the troops of the Nigerian Army for their prompt intervention.

He revealed that prior to the abduction of the victim, there was a retinue of police patrol numbering about 50 policemen but was shocked that despite shouting for help, there was no response from any of them.

“You can see that everywhere is scattered as people scampered for safety. Some soldiers rescued the man that was abducted by the political thugs. Unfortunately, none of them could be arrested as they took to their heels when the soldiers arrived but not without living the victims with deep lacerations. This is terrible as this is no longer an election but pure brigandage to impose unpopular candidates on the people.”

However, despite the injury sustained, the victim was rescued and taken to the hospital as he had lost much blood as a result of the unfortunate stabbing incident.

Generally, gubernatorial and state Houses of Assembly elections on Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Lagos were copiously marred with violence, intimidation, and suppression of voters as voters were beaten, flogged, and slapped for daring to vote against the ruling party in the State.


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