BLOODBATH AS ACN FACTIONS CLASH IN LAGOS

By NBF News
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The lingering crisis within the rank of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Apapa-Iganmu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State went full circle yesterday as rival groups engaged in bloody battle, leading to the death of one person while several others suffered injuries.

The battle at Sari-Iganmu, which occurred in the morning, was fought with dangerous weapons, which sent residents and passersby scampering for safety. It was learnt that a significant number of ACN members had been opposed to the planned return of the council chairman, Dr. Adesola Adedayo Samuel, over alleged non-performance and dictatorial tendencies.

To vent their anger, the aggrieved members staged a protest on Friday at the party's local government secretariat at Mobil Road, Apapa, over what they described as clandestine moves by some people to return the council boss to office.

They carried placards with different inscriptions condemning the administration and pleaded with the party leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, to intervene and stop the purported imposition so as to allow them elect the person of their choice. Youths, elderly men and women attended the rally. After the rally, two of the principal participants were allegedly kidnapped, while one other was arrested by the police.

Those kidnapped were identified as Ibrahim, who was reportedly abducted at Abete, and Alfa Jimoh, who was purportedly seized at Sari-Iganmu.

Sources said their release was secured about 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and the matter had been reported at the Orile-Iganmu Police Station, where the police promised to investigate the incident. A leading party member, Mr. Taiwo Ossai, who was arrested, was later released on bail. The riot, sources said, was a fall-out of the Friday rally as those who reportedly triggered it off were mostly opposed to the move to stop the ambition of the incumbent chairman.

When Sunday Sun visited the area in the afternoon, a detachment of policemen had been deployed to maintain peace, but there was still palpable fear that all was not well as people and vehicles deserted the roads for fear of being caught in the crossfire.

Spokesman of the Lagos State Police Command, Samuel Jinadu, confirmed the incident, but could not give details at the time of going to press. In a telephone interview, the council chairman, Dr. Samuel, said the security agents were on top of the situation and that calm had been restored in the area. He, however, blamed the incident on the characteristic feature of slums where jobless youths engage in all sorts of violent actions.

'Since 1988, crime and restiveness have been the feature of Apapa-Iganmu Local Government,' he said. On the allegation that the riot was political, he said: 'If it is political, it must have been instigated by anti-party people or members of the opposition.' He claimed that some people were out to frustrate his second coming because they were not comfortable with the giant stride he was making at the council.