By Dafe Rukevwe
A politician in Delta State, Comrade Augustine Okokoro is seeking protection from the international community over constant threats to his life and family since the end of 2019 general elections in Nigeria.
Okokoro who ran for the Delta State House of Assembly seat for Ethiope East Constituency, under the platform of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), has been facing series of threats and attacks to his life since the election.
According to him, he has received countless numbers of text messages from unknown phone numbers, adding that the trauma this has left him with is worrisome to him and his family members.
He said: “My woes began immediately I aspired to contest this constituency’s seat during the 2019 general election. I would have withdrawn, but party members urged me to stay on.
“I began to receive phone calls from unknown numbers threatening to kill me immediately I signified interest to represent my constituency in the State Assembly. Believing it was a normal political intrigue in Nigeria that contestants try to bully, cow or intimidate their opponents in a bid to wrestle power, I did not give much meaning and attention to it. It however became serious when some of my family members were attacked days to the election, including a failed attempt to set my family house ablaze.
“As if that is not enough, election has come and gone, yet my life has become a subject of threats and attacks. Apart from anonymous calls threatening my life, I have escaped two assassination attempts on the road.”
“As we speak, my family and I are into hiding; I can’t even disclose my location and we have decided to go underground. They are very important to me. I need security and protection,” he added.
He said: “Many times they call me and tell me my location threatening to come for me.”
This is the plight of Comrade Okokoro Augustine who hails from Ethiope East, a known flashpoint area for political violence.
Reports of pre-election violence occurred in the local government before the 2019 elections in Abraka and other places in the council area.
Okokoro’s plight is one case too many as it has become a suicide mission for genuine people to go into political elections in Delta State, Nigeria.
However, investigation revealed that apart from the killings that took place in parts of Delta prior and during the 2019 general elections, various flashpoints like Ethiope East and West, Okpe, Sapele, Udu, areas of the state have continued to witness series of premeditated attacks on perceived political enemies.
Just recently again, another politician, the majority leader of the Legislative Arm of Sapele Local Government was gruesomely murdered by heavily armed men who had trailed him. Also, the murder of one of Chairman of ADC in Warri South-West who was also resident in Warri has also been reported.