By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor
lagos—Tension still grips residents of Ago Palace Way in Lagos following rumours of a reprisal attack by members of outlawed Oodua People’s Congress, OPC , whose member was nearly lynched after he allegedly led a group of thugs to destroy and burn ballot boxes and papers while the re-scheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections were in progress.
File: Pandemonium as thugs set cast ballot papers ablaze in Lagos
The OPC member identified simply as Demola reportedly invaded Ago-Palace Way and disrupted election leading to the death of about three persons while scores of voters were badly wounded. During the noon attack, no fewer than 100 ballot boxes filled with voting materials were burnt.
The enraged voters who were scattered during the indiscriminate shooting by the thugs later regrouped and accosted their attackers who escaped from the scene in motorcycles. Demola was however unlucky as the crowd caught up with him, burnt his motorcycle and set him ablaze. Luckily, he was rescued and rushed to the hospital where he is still recuperating from the injuries he sustained from the crowd.
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Vanguard gathered that, when news went round that he was lynched, his colleagues in OPC swore to take their pound of flesh and were preparing for a reprisal attack in the area the following day. Warning messages trended in the social media warning non indigenes living in the area especially Igbos, to be at alert.
Luckily, police authorities were able to get the information through intelligence gathering and swiftly moved into action by planting plain-clothed detectives in all the nooks and crannies of the area with a view to nipping in the bud any attempt to cause unrest.
Vanguard gathered the newly posted Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu personally patrolled the area, midnight, with a formidable unit of heavily armed policemen with a view to ensuring that calm was restored. Later in the day, soldiers attached to’ OP Messa’ were seen stationed at strategic positions in the area.
As at press time, it was not possible to ascertain if police authorities will still carry out their operational strategy tagged ‘Operation Show Force’ which they wanted to patrol the area but police sources said that if the situation escalates, it will certainly be carried out.
Some of the residents interviewed by Vanguard lamented that the situation is degenerating to that extent when they are the aggrieved in the case. According to one of them, a business man who simply identified himself as Osondu,” They attacked and brutalized us, they disenfranchised us, yet they are coming to kill us. This is not fair.”