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Lagos residents recount ordeal during APC poll

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No fewer than eight deaths were recorded in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Lagos Local Government campaigns and primaries, which took place in various parts of the metropolis.
 
The Guardian learnt that over eight deaths were recorded during the campaigns and the primaries across the 377 wards in 57 councils.

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Like the campaigns preceding them, the primaries were marred with violence as thugs attacked party and council officials.
 
According to reports from wards and LGs, two people were reportedly killed during the primaries, with some sustaining various degrees of injury in some wards and LGs.
 
It was also reported that the Returning Officers for Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Area, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, and his counterpart at Somolu Local Government, Amida Abudu, were attacked on their way to the venue of the primaries.
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The thugs were said to have stolen Ibirogba’s handset and bag after attacking him.
 
Similarly, two persons were killed during a fracas in Surulere, while some thugs allegedly attacked the venue of the primary with guns and cutlasses and injured the council chairman’s aide, Ajimomuya, in Somolu Local Government.
 
The Isolo axis of the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area was not spared in the violence that marred the primaries.
  
The majority of residents were trapped in their houses to avoid falling victims to stray bullets as sounds of gunshots were fired, particularly in Ire-Akari Estate and Ibe road.    
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The situation was not different in Alimosho as there was a video circulating on the social media of a crowd accusing a party chieftain of sending thugs to disrupt the election.                                              
  
Before the primaries, no fewer than five persons were reportedly killed in a clash involving factional members of the APC in Oko-Baba, a suburb in Lagos Mainland Local Government Area of the state.
 
The clash made residents scamper to safety, as the hoodlums fought with different weapons, including guns, machetes, bottles and sticks.
 
According to an eyewitness, identified simply as Segun, the fracas started when supporters of the council Chairman, Omolola Essien, attempted to erect her re-election banner at the Oko-Baba roundabout.
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He said: “The hoodlums complained that the chairman had not done anything in their area since assumption of office. This did not go down well with the supporters, who felt angry and left without erecting the banner.
 
“Minutes later, some vigilante party members loyal to the chairman came with guns. A shouting match ensued between the two factions and the vigilantes fired their guns. Five persons were killed and another five injured, and they are receiving treatment in a hospital. The fight is because of this week’s APC primary election in the council.”

Essien blamed the mayhem on her opponent. She said: “My driver went to the roundabout with his brother to put up my banner that had fallen. My opponent’s banner was also there, but I think his people intentionally removed my banner. We didn’t know his boys were somewhere there. As my driver’s brother was trying to raise my banner, he heard gunshots.

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“The boys opened gunfire leading to the death of some people around the roundabout. Some of our people were also injured.”
 
Similarly, supporters of APC aspirants seeking to fly the party’s flag at the July 24 Lagos Local Government elections clashed during the party’s meeting held at KM 15, LASU-Isheri Road, opposite the Conoil filling station.
   
The Guardian gathered that trouble started when supporters of one the aspirants, Ahmed Olajide Oseni, came into the venue of the meeting with his entourage and discovered that the leadership of the party in the area were wearing branded T-shirts and face caps of other aspirants.
 
This did not go down well with the Oseni camp, which accused the party leadership of bias and trying to secretly anoint and announce Akinsanya as the party’s standard-bearer, which, they claimed, negated due process.

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