Senatorial candidate from opposition party killed ahead of Nigerian election

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A senatorial candidate from Nigeria’s opposition Labour Party was killed late on Wednesday by unknown gunmen in southeastern Enugu State, a local party official said on Thursday.

Nigerians are scheduled to vote in a presidential and parliamentary election on Saturday, and the killing in Enugu came hours after the parties and presidential candidates signed a pledge to support a peaceful electoral process.

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Chinwuba Ngwu, the Labour Party chairman in the Enugu South local government area, said senatorial candidate Oyibo Chukwu had been ambushed and killed as he travelled back from a campaign event.

“He was shot dead and then set ablaze in his vehicle with his driver and one of his boys,” Ngwu said.

“It is a devastating development for us. We are suspecting political assassination because he is favored to win the election,” he said.

A police spokesperson in Enugu State confirmed the incident and said they would issue a statement later.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and biggest economy, has a long history of election-related violence.

US President Joe Biden earlier called for a peaceful, transparent election, urging parties and candidates to accept the results when they are published by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Read more: Factbox: Nigeria’s election; when is the vote and what’s at stake

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