BY GBOGBOWA GBOWA
Suspected hired hoodlums this afternoon sacked the ongoing presidential campaign of Emenike Nwokeoji and -Segun Oduntan (ENSO) Restoration Team of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at past 3pm.
The hoodlums went on rampage just as the meeting commenced while the anchor person was recognizing dignitaries, as missiles started flying in the air in the direction of the campaign ground, besides the Tin Can Island Port gate by the bridge.
As the attack intensified, everybody scampered for safety, abruptly ending the meeting, as the ENSO campaign youth supporters who made efforts to repel the attackers were overwhelmed apparently by the otherwise prepared invaders.
Our reporter saw policemen on ground shooting in the air to disperse the thugs without much success, as they hauled bottles, pieces of planks, stones and every available arsenal at the police men and some of the petty traders including abokis affected by the sudden invasion, while fighting back.
Although members of the association speaking with our reporter pointed accusing fingers at the opposition camp, other sources claimed that the area is prone to gang fights and between touts and motorists.
A chieftain of ANLCA who spoke with our reporter in confidence dismissed suggestions that the attacks may have been one of those routine encounters, saying the campaigners was the target, and appealed to the Nigeria Customs Service and the Customs Consultative Council to investigate the attacks.
He lamented that the leadership of the Tin Can Customs Command had barely 20minutes earlier turned down the request of the ENSO Presidential Campaign Team who wanted to pay him a courtesy visit before going down to the campaign ground, which according to him is the practice.
He wondered why the customs area boss who granted the opposition camp audience, came up with excuses and refused to see them, saying there’s political undertone to the refusal of the customs in denying them audience.
He said, “When things like this happen, there is no how you cannot begin to wonder and to rationalize, for me l don’t buy that argument that area boys fight themselves and also fight motorists in the area, why didn’t the fight begin since morning, why begin just at the time our programme was just beginning?
“You see there are so many things we don’t see but sometimes we can sense when things happen, how they relate. You should know those who have sponsored these hooligans, you have been reporting this association for long. Remember they came to attack us a year ago at our secretariat during an interim national leadership meeting, it is the same desperate idiots.
“To think that the controller refused to see the ENSO group about 20 minutes before this attack does not make me feel comfortable at all. This same controller played host to Farinto camp during their campaign, and when we came, he started with the excuse we were late and that he is busy, can you imagine.
“Some of these agents are gentlemen and people of mean and very learned, if they are in customs some of them will be his senior, he dismissed them. l don’t like talking again, but l see the opponent’s hand in this, and this is not good for the customs service; they should be neutral, they have no reason to play ethnic card, it will destroy this system if it continues”, adding:
“To also think that the customs service have been very supportive and concerned about the crisis in ANLCA, remember they organized the recent peace accord with respect to this election. It will be good if the service and the customs consultative council can investigate this attack; this madness must stop”, he said.