Abuja: An opposition party governorship
candidate has been charged with treason in Nigeria for
allegedly inciting violence that led to the death of eighth
persons during political campaigns, police said on Saturday.
Senator James Akpanudoedehe of the Action Congress of
Nigeria (ACN) has been arrested and charged with treason at a
court in Abuja, where he pleaded not guilty but the presiding
judge remanded him in prison custody till further hearings.
He is vying for to rule an oil rich south-eastern state
of Akwa Ibom where the incumbent is of the ruling People’s
Democratic Party (PDP).
The oil rich African country is gearing up for general
elections next month and political rallies have resulted in
conflicts resulting in loss of lives. Nigerians will elect a
governor on April 16, while the presidential election is set
for April 9.
Last Tuesday, the senators’ campaign train was attacked
by members of the PDP in Ikot Ekpene local government area of
Akwa Ibom State killing five persons, injuring several others
and destroying vehicle belonging to the ACN. A reprisal attack
by the senators’ supporters led to the death of three persons.
Authorities here are concerned that the crises might
affect the conduct of elections due the high number of
violence recorded since the beginning of campaigns.
Explosives hauled at a rally in northern state of
Niger led to the death of not less than three persons while an
illegal bomb manufacturing factory was discovered by security
operatives last week in the restive central city of Jos.
Nigeria is the biggest democracy on the continent with
a population of 150 million people.
It returned to civil rule in 1999 after several years
of intermittent military interference in its politics.