The Lagos State Police Command has vowed to prosecute any individual who attacks supporters of any political party in the state.
Spokesperson of the Command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, made this known on Monday, in response to an alleged attack on two supporters (flag boys) of the Labour Party (LP) in Oshodi.
The flag boys were allegedly seized by some touts operating in the Oshodi Motor Park, who beat them to a pulp and were about to be set ablaze before they were rescued by a courageous soldier.
The assaulted flag boys claimed that they were going about their normal duty with the Labour Party flag and insignia when they were accosted by the touts who were ordered by their superiors to beat them up and set them ablaze.
One of the victims said “When the touts who were ordered by their superior seized my friend, I took to my heels to the motor park and boarded a cab, while the cab was loading, the touts traced me to the cab, forced me out of it, and took me to where my friend was also kept.
“Their superior ordered that we should be beaten, killed and set ablaze. We were beaten like common criminals. They flogged and were about to set us on fire before a soldier came to our rescue. We are having internal bleeding and pains all over our bodies. Our crime is that we are not supporting their candidate.”
A human rights activist, Mark Chidozie, has called on the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, to take the matter up and also appeal to Inspector-General of Police, Akali Baba, to live up to his promise of protecting all stakeholders in the upcoming general elections.
“This matter is a pointer to what will happen to people in Lagos during the electioneering period. Non-indigenes are going to be intimidated as it was done last time where Ndigbo reside in Lagos. The police management team should protect voters and make sure that they are not disenfranchised,” he said.
But SP Hundeyin said that though he was aware of the matter, it was not reported officially to the police.
He said, “I chatted with the victims and I advised them to report the matter to the nearest police station.
“I went as far as to put the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) on notice. He is still on standby waiting for them, but, as I am speaking with you, they have not reported to the police.”
“It doesn’t have to be Peter Obi supporters, but anybody who attacks another should be arrested and prosecuted according to the law of the land.
“Let them go and report to the police and see if the case will not be investigated by the police. Yes, I assure you that the case will be Investigated.”
The IGP, had in his goodwill messages, at the signing ceremony of a Peace Accord by Presidential Candidates, warned against the “use of fear and intimidation such as the use of masquerades, physical force or coercion in any form including the retention and use of private security organisation, groups or individuals for purpose of providing security at processions.”