Like a war scene, continuous gun report tore through the air in the Ebute Meta area of Lagos State on Tuesday afternoon.
As residents ran helter-skelter in the ensuing confusion, four youths were shot dead, while several others were wounded, as 20 vehicles were also vandalised on four streets, namely Kano, Ondo, Odunfa and Ibadan.
Our correspondent gathered that the crisis was the aftermath of a primary election conducted for two candidates of the All Progressives Congress ─ Oladele Adekanye (Lado) and Bashiru Oloto.
The two men were aspiring to get the APC ticket to represent the Lagos Mainland Constituency one in the 2015 elections.
Our correspondent learnt that the primary was won by Lado, a former council chairman.
Immediately the results were announced, more than 100 hoodlums from Apapa Road, who wielded guns, among other weapons, trooped into the streets to create mayhem.
Our correspondent counted four damaged vehicles on Kano Street, three on Ibadan Street, seven on Odunfa Street and six on Ondo Street.
Those who were shot and cut with machetes were said to have been evacuated.
A resident, who pleaded anonymity, said one person was shot on Simpson Street, two died on Lagos Street, while one was killed on Ibadan Street.
He said, “The boys are from Apapa Road. They cannot be less than 100 because they were many and had double-barreled guns, cutlasses and others. They shot sporadically into the air and attacked people.
“Apart from the four persons that were shot dead, many more were seriously injured and were rushed to hospitals.”
A trader on Kano Street, Tolulope Salaam, said the gang carted away all her wares which she estimated at N60, 000.
At the Kano junction, handsets and other products on display were reportedly carted away by the rampaging hoodlums.
When our correspondent visited Ibadan Street, where the primary election took place, he observed that the road was deserted.
A mechanic in the area, Musbau Agbogun, wondered how the security agencies could not repel the attack.
He said, “I have been seeing them patrolling the area. I also saw men of the Department of State Service and policemen from Denton division moving round. Despite that, innocent lives were wasted. If this can happen in the party primaries, what should we expect in the real election?”
A victim, Gideon Makinde, whose Toyota Camry was vandalized said that he parked his car by a side of the road.
A resident, Abdulhamed Kareem, explained that some of the hoodlums broke into his sister’s supermarket, and took all the money in the drawer.
He showed our correspondent a commercial bus that was riddled with bullets.
He said, “The man inside the bus was hit by a bullet and has been rushed to a hospital,” he added.
It was learnt that the same scenario almost played out during another APC primaries in the Ogudu area, but for the intervention of the police.
It was learnt that protesters in Ogudu were prevented from fomenting trouble during the primary.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, said nobody died in the Ebute Meta incident.
He said, “There was a congress in the place this afternoon. When they finished and announced the result, some persons attempted to cause commotion.
“We were able to protect the materials and the officials, who were escorted out of the scene without any harm. One person was shot and he was taken to the hospital. There is no record of death.”
He added that the election in the Ogudu area was peaceful and there was no shooting.
He said, “Election was held around a police station in Ogudu, and some people came from Oworonshoki and started chanting protest songs. They were asked to leave.”
The APC spokesperson for Lagos State, Joe Igbokwe, told News men that he was not aware of any mayhem.