Breaking: Two Die, Dozens Injure During Lagos APC Council Primaries

Two unidentified young men lifeless bodies on Haastrup Street off Ayilara Ojuelegba Surulere, have been confirmed by residents of the area as remains of people that were killed by thugs that stormed the axis of Surulere in their hundreds to attack any gathering of members of Lagos chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC) assemble to vote during the party’s ongoing council primary elections.

They said that the two young men were killed in the area while they were trying to vote for their preferred aspirants before they met their deaths at hands of thugs who attacked them and cut short their lives.

The members claimed that thugs have been terrorizing areas within Surulere and that their target were people and APC members that go against their principal’s wish and that people have to run for their dear lives.

An eyewitness, who resides in the community, told The Newsacross.com of how the entire Surulere has been facing series of threats, harassments, and indiscriminate shooting from thugs and that the only thing that hasn’t been done by hoodlums were to rob and rape women broad daylight.

She disclosed that one of APC top leaders should be held accountable for the death of the two young men who had done nothing wrong but only came out to vote for their aspirants before meeting their deaths unprepared.

Another who also spoke to The Newsacross under anonymous condition due to sensibility of the issue said that the thugs were in possession of various weapons and that vehicles were vandalized by hoodlums.

According to her, the Nigerian Police were yet to visit the crime scene to investigate what transpired before and after the killing of the two young men and move their remains proper place.

Before the act, dozens of cultists and thugs led by Deputy Chairman of Road Transport employee Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) Ojuelegba chapter, Sunday Aransiola, popularly called Baresi, had allegedly ordered that the party members leave the voting premises and not to return, saying, the wish of his boss supersedes others aspirations.

Baresi’s actions and that of his boys was said to have halted the activities within the voting premises with claims that the instructions from their boss were that the party members vote for his anointed chairmanship aspirant, Sulaimon Yusuf, and other councilors aiming to become APC standard-bearers for the exercise scheduled to hold later in the year.

Some of the members that spoke to our correspondent lamented that they were chased by the thugs that stormed their voting premises with guns and other dangerous weapons to scare members and that they warned them anyone willing to go closer to the polling booth must vote for the speaker’s candidates across the nine wards in Surulere.

They added that the actions have started scaring members away and some had already left to avoid been attacked by the hoodlums who were loyal to the speaker and were battle-ready to ensure that the Gbajabiamila’s candidate assumes office.

After scaring the genuine members away from voting, it was gathered that the speaker has allegedly hired non-members, equipping them with names of the aspirants to cast votes for them during the exercise.

It was learnt that some of the non-members were intercepted by the returning officers that discovered that they do not know the name of the ward nor other details that could indicate that they were members of the party in the wards.

In an interview with our correspondent, Billy Balogun, a former aspirant who stepped down for Idris Aregbe, alleged that the speaker was behind the crisis that had trailed the APC council primaries, saying do not look too far, the speaker is the one involved.

Balogun added that the speaker has turned down in appeals made not to interfere in the exercise and he had boasted that not even the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, can persuade him not to achieve his aim.

Tinubu, it would be recalled that cautioned the leaders including the speakers not to influence the exercise, rather, to give party members opportunities in determining their preferred candidate for the Lagos council poll.

According to him, all we wanted is a free and fair contest. But what we have experienced across the councils were that the speaker brought in thugs to attack party members in other to achieve his goal of imposing candidates on members in Surulere.

Also, a woman leader from Ward G2, Jamila Mu’azu-Olukosi, narrated that the atmosphere at her ward was tensed and that she and dozens of members were forced to leave in other to avoid sustaining gunshot injuries during the exercise.

Mu’azu-Olukosi added that the exercise was peaceful in her ward before the cultists and hoodlums stormed the premises and disrupted the voting process at the ward, forcing many to abandon their plans to scamper for safety.

She said: “We were at the ward to cast our vote for our candidate, preferably, Idris Aregbe, and suddenly, these dozens of thugs arrived and demanded that we all leave. And when we resisted, they started shooting in the air, not minding that people could sustain injuries from their actions.

“Realising the extent of gunshots with deafening sounds that enveloped the atmosphere, I had to leave to avoid sustaining gunshot injuries at the premises”.

Also, a major frontline aspirant, Aregbe appealed to the speaker to allow a free and fair electoral process, saying we are not here to fight but to have a rancour-free exercise that would be in accordance with democratic norms.

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