Melaye rally turns bloody as poly student dies

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A student of the Kogi State Polytechnic, Felele, Saka Seidu, was on Monday shot dead during a rally organised by Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West in Lokoja, the state capital. Melaye was in Lokoja to address his supporters on the ongoing attempt by his constituents to recall him. Melaye had arrived the gate of the Kogi State Polytechnic, Felele at about 11am to address his supporters. Midway into his address to the youths, sporadic gunshots were heard from the NATACO end of the Okene/Abuja Road. This led to a commotion among the youths comprising mainly students of the institution. Our correspondent, who witnessed the episode, reported that Seidu, described as one of the supporters of Governor Yahaya Bello, was shot dead in the fracas. Seidu was allegedly shot with a pump action gun by an unconfirmed supporter of Melaye. Our correspondent, however, learnt that Seidu was allegedly shot dead by Melaye’s security details. Another version said that the deceased was shot dead after he allegedly shot into the crowd and injured some of them. Seidu’s death, it was learnt, led to a serious clash between the supporters of the governor and Melaye. The exchange of gun fire between the two groups lasted over one hour before the arrival of both the Special Adviser on Security Matters to the State Governor Air Commodore Jerry Omodara (retd.) and the state Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inalegwu. Speaking with journalists at the scene,  Inalegwu blamed Melaye for the clash, saying the senator did not obtain police permit for the rally. He added he would report Melaye “to the authorities.” Meanwhile, Melaye has described the invasion of his rally as the second assassination attempts on his life. The senator said two of the operatives of the Department of State Services attached to him were shot by the gunmen. Though he denied that his supporters killed the deceased, Melaye added that a pump action gun recovered from Seidu had been handed over to the DSS office in Lokoja. The governor, who visited the scene of the incident with some security men at about 3.15pm, said he was shocked about the development. He urged the security agents to investigate the incident. He confirmed that only one person lost his life during the shootout. Bello expressed gratitude to the state police command for pledging  its readiness to investigate the matter and to bring the perpetrators to justice.