A stray bullet from a military personnel on Saturday killed a nine-year-old girl identified as Zainab Bala-Umar at Gwanki Ward, Makarfi Local Government Area during the local government election in Kaduna State.
An eyewitness, Alhaji Yahaya Gwanki, said that the stray bullet came from the gun of a soldier while attempting to forcefully disperse a crowd.
Daily Trust reported that the soldier was invited by a former chairman of Makarfi local government, Alhaji Kabir Maiyere, who is also the APC candidate in the election.
He said the APC candidate had gone to one of the polling units under Fadamar Gwanki where he started a conversation with an electoral officer allegedly over some challenges of the e-voting machine.
While having the conversation, some disgruntled youths who saw the move as a ploy to influence the voting pattern started to protest, ‘ba ma so, ba ma so” meaning “we don’t want.”
“Maiyere then invited soldiers who shot into the air and in the process, the girl was hit and died,” Gwanki said.
When contacted, State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mohammed Jalige, who confirmed the report said military personnel were not allowed to be at the polling units.
Jalige further said the police would arrest the suspects, investigate the matter and brief the press.
The Kaduna election has witnessed voters apathy in many local government areas of the state as residents went to the polls to elect councillors and local government chairmen across 19 of Kaduna’s 23 local government areas yesterday.
Only a few voters were seen lining up for accreditation before they later cast their votes in polling units across the metropolis and Zaria.
Recall that after casting his vote at Unguwan Sarki, Governor Nasir El-Rufai who lost at his polling unit to the opposition party has stated that his administration did not believe in rigging elections.
El-Rufai further stressed that he would not behave like other state governments where the ruling party wins all the LGAs.