January 28, 2023

Political rally: 3 feared dead as APC, PDP supporters clash in Lagos

.As parties trade blame
.Call for probe

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

At least three persons were reportedly killed, while others sustained various degree of injuries when supporters of the ruling All Progressives Conngress, APC, and opposition, People Democratic Party, PDP, engaged in violent clash during latter political campaign in Surulere area of Lagos State.

Consequently, both parties, have called on President Muhamnadu Buhari and police authorities to commence immediate investigation into the clash with the aim to arrest and bring perpetrators to book.

The attack happened on Friday during the visitation of the PDP Gubernatorial candidate, Dr Olajide Adediran, popularly called Jandor as part of on-going tour of 245 wards in Lagos State.

PDP claimed that suspected hoodlums loyal to APC went to the High Chief, Baale of Ojuoluwa in Empire area of the Surulere Local Government Area, and threatened him not to receive the entourage during the two day visit to the wards in Surulere of the area.

These were contained in a separate statements on Friday by the spokespersons of APC,, Seye Oladejo and Hakeem Amode of the PDP.

The statement by Oladejo read in parts: “Our attention has been drawn to the terror unleashed on innocent and law abiding citizens of Lagos state by the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the forthcoming national elections, Jide Adediran, otherwise known as Jandor in the course of his campaign in Surulere Local Government.

“The incident left in its wake several injured victims and three people reportedly died.

“We condemn in strong terms the unwarranted and unprovoked resort to violence on the citizens of the state in the name of electioneering campaign. In broad daylight, Jandor’s thugs fired guns at their hapless victims who ran for dear lives.

“Lagos cherishes its enviable status as the safest state in the country – a result of long running and painstaking investment in security.

“We view this attack as a ploy to instill fear in the hearts of would-be voters as we count down to the elections.

“It’s pathetic to note that a candidate seeking to govern the state could be seen actively promoting violence to disrupt the peace of the citizens.

“The PDP and it’s candidate have been busy in the past few days, have been crying in the media that their posters were being torn. Unknown to me public he perfected his evil plans which manifested at his rally.

“While we can imagine the untold misery and frustration that his faltering campaign might have visited on him, it ought not to result in the thirst for the blood of potential voters.

“We hereby call on the law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate the incident, bring the culprits to book and beef security across the state with the obvious desperation of the opposition PDP in order to forestall a reoccurrence.

“We urge Lagosians to remain calm and law abiding as the state government remains irrevocably committed to its onerous duty of ensuring the safety of lives and properties of all and sundry.”

Amode, in a statement described the attack as “repugnant to deepening democracy in Lagos, a clear evidence of APC high-handedness and imperialism rule.”

The statement read in parts: “The APC sponsored thugs in Surulere local government of Lagos state unleashed violence on persons and groups of people in the area ahead of the scheduled visitation of the PDP Gubernatorial candidate visit to the ward on Thursday and Friday, in continuation of Jandor’s tour of the 245 wards in Lagos state.

“The hoodlums went to the Baale of Ojuoluwa in Empire area of the LGA to threaten him not to receive the entourage who was billed to pay him a courtesy visit.

“The gates leading to the entire empire area was locked and vehicular movement around the area distrupted.

“In the same vein, the canopy and chairs arranged at Iponri Housing Estate was violently destroyed by APC killer-thugs who were armed with dangerous weapons including guns and many of our members who were making the arrangements was wounded in the fracas.

“The same set of the APC sponsored thugs mobilise themselves to Soloki street where Dr.Adediran went to observe Jumat prayers welding dangerous weapons, destroying vehicles on the entourage and violently snatched one of the campaign vehicles.

“They also vandalised the campaign vehicles of our house of Representatives candidates, Soyinka.

“It is important to also point out that the APC sponsored thugs went ahead to vandalise the PDP secretariat at No. 2 Shittu Street, Aguda during which several members of our party sustained various degrees of injuries.

“A similar incident also occured on Teniola Street where members of the community, waiting to receive the entourage of our Gubernatorial candidates were dispersed and many also wounded during the attack.

“Our initial investigation revealed that the killer-thugs were sponsored by ruling APC candidate for House of Representatives position in the Constituency 2 of Surulere Local Government,

“We are once again using this opportunity to appeal to the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammad Buhari to use his good office to stem the undemocratic practice of APC in Lagos against opposition parties to ensure that the desire of Jandor to leave a legacy of credible election is not truncated on the altar of selfishness and entitlement by the ruling party in the state.

“We also call on the Inspector General of Police to rise to the occasion and provide adequate security for all and sundry to enable them exercise their franchise in the coming election.”

PDP therefore, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission -INEC to ensure that the alleged intimidation and harassment of opposition party members by the ruling party “sponsored killer-thugs” does not undermine their efforts towards a credible elections especially in the state.

“Our appeal also go to all members of party to remain resolute and focus because the leadership of our party and our candidates cannot be cowed by the ruling APC killer-thugs and agbero elements in the state.

It therefore, urged every loyal members to see the violence bring displayed as a “show of a bad loser party who had nothing to offer the people of the state and would do anything to continue squandering of our commonwealth in the state.”