From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
Some street urchins in Idumagbo area of Lagos Island have alleged that they were paid the sum of 300,000 to pelt All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Gen Muhammadu Buhari during his visit to the Oba of Lagos on Friday.
Peoples Daily investigation reveals that some agents of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, met with some touts who dominate Ita Iga and Idumagbo area to carry out out the act.
Idumagbo, Adeniji Adele, Oyebanji, and other volatile spots on the Island popularly called Isale- Eko are notorious for local touts, usually called Area Boys, move in groups to control various 'junctions'.
Our correspondent gathered that various gangs were paid to scuttle General Buhari's visit to the area.
Isale Eko is the political base of former Minister of State for Defense and PDP chieftain, Senator Musliu Obanikoro.
At Idumagbo Avenue, leader of a gang who refused to tell our correspondent his name said that he was contacted and paid for the 'deal'.
"We were paid to disrupt the visit, the PDP people met with us on Wednesday night and promised us a N700,000 to stone Buhari and Asiwaju whenever they visit the Oba's palace in Idumagbo. They gave us 300,000 advance here on Thursday and we shared it because it's part of our national cake," he said
"At first we gathered at ona owa, entrance to the palace before we were dispersed by security agents attached to the APC convoy who came in a white luxurious bus.
"We latter moved to Transformer Junction and Isogari Idumagbo but it was obviously impossible to carry out the action, so we left for stadium where Kwam1 was performing," he said.
Asked if he informed the said PDP agents that he was unsuccessful in accomplishing the task, he said he refused to pick calls of the PDP agents.
"I said I went to dance Kwam1 how will I pick his call, they are all thieves, if someone gives you money to stone anyone in government take it, they are the same anywhere any day."
Another gang leader in Sari Igunmu who also pleaded anonymity alleged that, "Obanikoro is popular here but we are not enjoying his largesse like APC chieftains in the community.
"I was informed of the deal but was not available and did not witness it; it's not impossible because 'boys' are not happy, we are just seeing posters everywhere no money, so I can't blame them, you should also know that this is Koro's territory, so don't be surprised if they are doing PDP, but all 'boys' here are not interested in party; they are looking for what to eat"
Earlier, Senator Obanikoro had stuck to his guns that Gen Buhari was indeed stoned in Lagos while making his way to the APC Lagos presidential rally on Friday.
He said in a statement signed by his media aide Ohimai Amaize that "based on eyewitness accounts, he is aware of the stoning incident at Idumagbo area of Isale-Eko, Lagos State and the fact that a woman was injured in the ensuing fracas after General Buhari's security detail had to shoot into the air to dispel the irate mob."
Obanikoro had condemned the alleged stoning of General Buhari in Lagos, calling on Lagosians to eschew violence.
"The stoning of APC Presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari today in Lagos is utterly condemnable. The 2015 presidential polls must be about issues and sportsmanship moderated with every sense of decency and civility", he said.
Senator Obanikoro noted that the APC's denial of Buhari's stoning in Lagos was not only pointless and futile but also does not give the APC any advantage.
"When things go wrong, we must acknowledge and condemn it in order to forestall any future occurrences.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied the concocted story by former Minister of State for Defence that the party's presidential candidate, Gen.Buhari, was pelted with stones during the party's rally in Lagos, saying a lie has never worn a bolder face.
APC in a statement issued in Lagos on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said Gen. Buhari and other top leaders of the APC rode in a open bus from the Palace of the Oba of Lagos to the Teslim Balogun Stadium venue of the rally, to great cheers from Lagosians who lined the route.
''Not once was he pelted with stone during the almost two-hour ride. It is obvious that those who were paid by Mr. Obanikoro to stone the General failed to deliver. We therefore urge him to seek a refund of whatever money he paid to his hired hands to pelt Gen. Buhari with stones,'' it said