The Lagos mega rally organised by the Presidential Campaign Council of the Labour Party for its flagbearer and former Anambra governor, Peter Obi, on Saturday, was marred by violence, Sunday PUNCH reports.
Several supporters of the candidate told our correspondents that they were attacked by hoodlums on their way to the Tafawa Balewa Square, the venue of the mega rally.
But the state Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Seye Oladejo, in a statement made available to Sunday PUNCH denied the involvement of the party in the attacks.
He said, “It is irresponsible and reckless of the tottering party to level such a wild allegation without any substantial proof. The APC as the ruling party in Lagos State remains the biggest stakeholder to ensure that there’s no breakdown of law and order.”
However, the Lagos State Police Command, through its spokesman, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, had earlier said in a statement obtained by Sunday PUNCH that only four persons were injured by some hoodlums suspected to be from opposition parties.
But a staunch supporter of Obi, Ayansola Dare, in a tweet on Saturday, said the number was more than that. This is as he raised the alarm on how hoodlums attacked the LP supporters outside the venue of the campaign.
Our correspondent observed that some young men numbering over 12 were covered in blood while they received treatment from a paramedical team on the ground.
Sunday PUNCH gathered that they were attacked by some masked miscreants who inflicted varying injuries on them.
One of the victims, who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation, said, “As I stepped out of my house around Iyana-Oworo and stopped at Obalende, where I would take another bus to the venue, some men from nowhere wielding sticks and stones attacked me and my friends.
“They kept asking us, ‘What has Obi done for you?’, ‘You are in Lagos and you are supporting Obi?’. It took the intervention of the policemen around the Access Bank area to calm things down but that was after they had inflicted me with injuries using their sticks.
“One of my friends was severely injured in his head. He has been taken to the clinic for treatment.”
Another supporter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, and had a bloody cut on her left hand claimed that she was attacked by a group of men around the Ajah area of the state. She alleged that some men with red clothes tied across their heads vandalised her car and broke the windscreen.
A Twitter user, @JaypeeGeneral, shared a gory video where some supporters of the LP candidate were being attended to by the standby medical team.
A bus driver, Daniel Etim, who spoke to our correspondent at TBS, said on his way from Ajah to the venue of the rally with LP supporters in his bus, some hoodlums with sticks and stones attacked them.
Meanwhile, Obi, while condemning the attack on his supporters, called on security agencies to protect the fundamental human rights of citizens.
“As we go into the final stretch for the 2023 elections, I call on all Nigerians regardless of political affiliation or tendency, to eschew violence. I condemn any form of violence and political thuggery, and especially the incessant attacks on my Obidient supporters,” Obi said in a tweet on Saturday.