The Peoples Democratic Party has given its own version of what transpired that led to the death of three persons in the Surulere area of Lagos State on Friday.
The governorship candidate of the party, Dr. Abdulaziz Adediran, was in the area when the violence occurred.
According to a story published by The Eagle Online, the candidate, popularly known as Jandor, had gone for the Jumat prayer on Friday when men brandishing guns and other weapons in a Toyota Sienna bus painted in the colour of the PDP unleashed violence.
The Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Lagos State, Hakeem Amode, said the initial story was faulty.
In a statement on Saturday, Amode said to was Adediran’s team that was attacked.
He described the Surulere attack on Adediran’s team as “repugnant to the deepening of democracy in Lagos”.
Amode, who is also the Chairman, Media and Publicity, JandorFunke 2023 Governorship Campaign, said the attacks, which had occurred in other areas of the state before the one on Friday in Surulere, were “clear evidence of APC high-handedness and imperialism rule”.
According to him, the alleged APC sponsored thugs in Surulere LGA unleashed violence on persons and groups of people in the area ahead of the scheduled visitation of the PDP gubernatorial candidate to the ward on Thursday and Friday.
He explained that the visit was in continuation of Adediran’s tour of the 245 wards in the state.
Amode said: “The hoodlums went to the Baale of Ojuoluwa in Empire area of the LGA to threaten him not to receive the entourage who was billed to pay him a courtesy visit.
“The gates leading to the entire Empire area was locked and vehicular movement around the area disrupted.
“In the same vein, the canopy and chairs arranged at Iponri Housing Estate was violently destroyed by APC killer-thugs who were armed with dangerous weapons, including guns, and many of our members who were making the arrangements were wounded in the ensuing fracas.
“The same set of the APC-sponsored thugs mobilised themselves to Soloki Street, Aguda, where Dr. Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran went to observe Jumat prayers, wielding dangerous weapons, destroying vehicles in the entourage and violently smashing one of the campaign vehicles.
“They also vandalised the campaign vehicles of our House of Representatives candidate, Hon. Soyinka, who is a sitting member of the House of Representatives.”
The PDP spokesman added that the political thugs also went ahead to vandalise the PDP Secretariat at 2, Shittu Street, Aguda, during which several members of our party sustained various degrees of injury.
Amode said that a similar incident also occurred on Teniola Street, where members of the community, who were waiting to receive the entourage of Adediran’s entourage, were dispersed and many also wounded during the attack.
He added: “We are once again using this opportunity to appeal to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammad Buhari, to use his good offices to stem the undemocratic practice of APC in Lagos State, against opposition parties.
“This is to ensure that the desire of the president to leave a legacy of credible elections is not truncated on the altar of selfishness and entitlement by the ruling party in the state.
“We are also using this opportunity to call on the Inspector General of Police to rise to the occasion and provide adequate security for all and sundry to enable them to exercise their franchise in the coming elections.”
Amode also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure no intimidation and harassment undermined its efforts towards organising credible elections, especially in Lagos State.
He appealed to all members of party to remain resolute and focused, saying the PDP leadership and candidates would not be cowed by thugs.
He said: “We urge every loyal member to see the violence display as a show of a bad loser party who has nothing to offer the people of the state and would do anything to continue squandering our commonwealth in the state.
“We urge the ruling party to focus on writing their handle-over notes because their time is up in governing the state.
“Our party PDP and the people of the state will no longer tolerate their misrule beyond 2023.”