Thugs Attack Lagos ACN Chieftains At Campaign Ground
A taste of what the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) should expect in Lagos State during the local government election which would hold on Saturday happened Monday afternoon when youths attacked the party's campaign ground in Somolu, a suburb of
the State leading to the death of one person.
The campaign had started with party chieftains moving the train to the area that Monday. The calculation, according to Huhuonline.com sources, was to bring the party candidates in Somolu, Bariga and Kosofe areas together, give them the party flag before the entire public and then flag off the campaign.
But before the party chieftains got to the campaign ground, boys loyal to an aspirant, Segun Aka Bashorun, who is believed to be the popular candidate but was denied the chairmanship ticket for Somolu, had displayed his posters and banners everywhere. The boys also mixed with other Lagosians who had come to witness the campaign.
Huhuonline.com learnt that the party leaders including the State Chairman, Henry Ajomale, though disappointed at the sight of the posters, were undeterred. They went ahead and began the campaign convincing the people on why the party should be voted for.
However, hardly had the party Chairman introduced Gbolahan Bagosto to the teeming crowd than the thugs began their attack. They shot sporadically causing the party men to scamper to safety with many running and leaving their vehicles behind. Many of the party chieftains were also injured in the attack.
Bagosto, who is being returned as Chairman despite his rejection by the people of Somolu, was beaten silly and his clothes torn into shreds.
"It was like a war zone. Many of us did not know how we escaped. We only know that we ran for our dear lives," a party loyalist told Huhuonline.com.
According to him, 'the party had studied its stand during the nomination process and had discovered that it had made some mistakes. As a result, many party chieftains are not willing to expend their energies campaigning for the candidates that were selected against their choices.'
Apart from this grievance by the party members, residents of the State do not think many of the returning Chairmen had done enough to be voted in again. Many of the Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas have either remained untouched or have become worse than when the Chairmen came into power.
"This was why we engaged in the massive campaign with the aim of disabusing the minds of the residents of the State and convincing them that it is a new dawn. But we didn't know that some guys still feel bitter and would lay ambush for us. The fear now has increased among us and it is just few days to the election the source further said.
As a result of the attack and possible upheaval against the choice of the candidates, the State House of Assembly has adjourned sitting to Tuesday next week in order for the lawmakers to go back to their constituencies and engage the people.
A lawmaker, Rotimi Olowo, who raised the issue at plenary, informed the members of the pockets of violence being witnessed in the different areas of the State. He further expressed fear that if the situation is not adequately curtailed, it may result in a bigger crisis.
Many of his colleagues supported his argument and explained that there was need for the lawmakers to carry out enlightenment and mobilisation of the people for the election and this was approved by the Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji.
Meanwhile, findings by Huhuonline.com have shown serious apathy towards the election. Many people in the State do not see any reason to go out and vote when the candidates picked by the ACN are not the choice candidates of the people.
Many who spoke on the issue also complained of non-performance on the part of the chairmen.