By Gift Osaze
Babajide Sanwo Olu, the All Progressive Congress, APC, governorship Candidate in Lagos state and Obafemi Hamzat a medical Doctor and former Commissioner for Works under former governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu Administration and who, incidentally is the Deputy governorship Aspirant, appear to have received their first political baptism of violence during their flag off Campaign at the busy Oshodi area of Lagos state on Tuesday January 8, 2019.
Signs that there would be trouble started at Egbeda, Alimosho local government area, when the party tugs who wore Ankara uniform with the duo of Sanwo Olu and Hamzat effigy on it, were at the Mopol patrol vehicle carrying some policemen who were armed to the teeth to clear the road. Eye witness account said the tugs who were walking along the road disrupted traffic believing that no one can stop them from doing anything.
They may have gone into the Campaign ground with that high spirit of going to forestall any attempt to disrupt the rally by any group. Unknown to them Oshodi according to residents was not an area to be taken for granted because of the notoriety of the area in white collar crimes. The crime situation of the area was said to have been made worse because of the different groups of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NARTO, begging for recognition.
The APC governorship Campaign Organisation may have fallen into the trap of the two groups at the Campaign as there was accusation and counter accusation of distribution of money to group without carrying the other along. The fallout was the plot by the alleged aggrieved group to disrupt the Campaign at the Sky Power stadium in the area.
There were claims that Musilu Akinsanya, an official of one of the factions, popular MC.
Recall, the NARTO members may not have been happy over the treatment met to Ambode by Tinubu, popular ,Jagaban and the party leader not to go for a second term in office. They may have resorted to violence as a signal of what the party should expect in the March 2, 2019 , governorship and House of Assembly elections.
The Value news learnt that it took the intervention of the police who shot sporadically into the air to save the situation from degenerating as there was exchange of gun shots at the Campaign and its environs. Samwo Olu, Hamzat, Ambode and other party Chieftains at the Campaign group were said to have been whisked away by security operatives to avoid any harm.
According to sources neither Samwo Olu nor Hamzat could speak as to present their manifesto to the people. The APC governorship Candidate who was visibly shaken was said to have hurriedly given the closing remarks as the police engage the hoodlums in a gun battle, forcing people to scamper for safety. At the last count three people were feared dead but workers of the state Ambulance service confirmed that no fewer than eight stabbed victims were conveyed to the Hospital for treatment. That much was also confirmed by Chike Oti, a Chief Superintendent of Police and Lagos Police Command Image maker.
Oti revealed that crisis at the Campaign ground was ignited by one Seigo, who is on the wanted list of the Command over his past atrocities. There are indications that two suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident and may be prosecuted as a deterrence to others who may want to foment trouble at party rallies.
Lai Muhammed, Buhari minister of Information and Communication would not agree that the crisis in the ranks of NARTO in the Oshodi area may have disrupted the APC governorship Campaign rally. He believes that the PDP tugs in the state may have infilterated the APC governorship Campaign to create bad blood and to prove to the public that the party has not truly put its house in order. Recall that last Monday, a similar gun dual occurred between two APC factions in Surulere area of the state.