This is the full story of how MC Oluomo was stabbed with a poisoned knife at Lagos APC campaign rally

The full story of how MC Oluomo was stabbed at Lagos APC campaign rally and the suspected men who did it.

MC Oluomo does the 4+4 sign for Buhari's re-election (Lailas Blog)MC Oluomo does the 4+4 sign for Buhari’s re-election (Lailas Blog)

It was billed as a Lagos APC campaign flag-off, with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode expected to reel out his achievements and state why he thinks Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos APC governorship flagbearer, is the best man to succeed him in May. 

But it turned out the day the infamous and ‘invincible’ MC Oluomo, got stabbed in the neck and was rushed to a hospital as he bled profusely, battling for his life.

This campaign rally was supposed to be a meeting point for APC faithful in an atmosphere of peace, conviviality, solidarity chants, chest thumping and galvanizing the base. 

However, midway into the campaign rally at the Skypower Grounds, beside the Archbishop Vining Church on Oba Akinjobi Way in GRA Ikeja, a melee ensued as Ambode addressed the audience and made a case for Sanwo-Olu. 

Ambode endorses Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat at the Lagos APC campaign rally on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 (Lagos APC) Ambode endorses Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat at the Lagos APC campaign rally on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 (Lagos APC) 

Ambode endorses Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat at the Lagos APC campaign rally on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 (Lagos APC) 

“People started running helter skelter and thugs armed with knives and cudgels began attacking themselves”, says Bayo, 31, who was right inside the venue when all hell broke loose.

A fight between NURTW factions

Video footage from the venue showed young men making a dash across the sandy ground with machetes and knives; and photo journalists lying on the deck as police pranced on the scene to fire live bullets into the dusty sky.

“What I seek from all of you is the continuous growth and continuity of this state”, Governor Ambode yelled through the public address system, as violence broke out before him and other dignitaries. “You guys should wait”, Ambode added, but no one was going to obey him at this point. The knives, cudgels and guns were well and truly out to halt his speech.

Pulse was told that factions of the Lagos State chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) were purveyors of the mayhem and that Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly referred to as MC Oluomo, was one of the fatally stabbed on the afternoon. 

The crowd at APC campaign ground in Ikeja screamed APC (APC Lagos)The crowd at APC campaign ground in Ikeja screamed APC (APC Lagos)

The crowd at APC campaign ground in Ikeja screamed APC (APC Lagos)

“MC Oluomo was stabbed twice with a poisonous knife called Makenje (which literally translates to don’t touch blood). All the VIPs were spirited out of the venue by security personnel. It was like a war zone with sophisticated guns and machetes on display”, one APC chieftain who was at the venue told Pulse on condition of anonymity.

A plot to settle political scores?

Another source told Pulse that the violence was orchestrated by persons who are still angry that Ambode was schemed out of the 2019 governorship race and disgraced, as Sanwo-Olu was settled for by the powers that be.

“It was well planned by top politicians. This was carried out by thugs loyal to Ambode’s camp. These thugs and the politicians who put them up to this are still angry that Ambode didn’t get a second term ticket. The plot was to disrupt the rally and turn attention away from the candidate Sanwo-Olu. And you have to say they succeeded to some degree”, says the source. 

The legend of MC Oluomo

MC Oluomo wasn’t supposed to be rushed to the hospital after being stabbed, because he supposedly wears a spiritual armour that shields him from gun, knife and other dangerous weapons. Which was why the knife used to stab him was a poisoned one, Pulse was told. But he was expected to be inured from the venom of a poisoned knife, no less.

In other words, MC Oluomo was supposed to be ‘unkillable’.

“The only way they could break through MC Oluomo’s skin was to poison the knife and as I speak with you now, native and medical doctors are battling to keep him alive by extracting the venom from his system. It’s 50:50 for him now”,another APC source shares. 

Another source tells Pulse that MC Oluomo is recovering in hospital after “doctors and two elderly jazzmen (native doctors) extracted the poison from his system.

Sanwo-Olu rides with Ambode through the campaign ground in Lagos (Lagos APC)Sanwo-Olu rides with Ambode through the campaign ground in Lagos (Lagos APC)

Sanwo-Olu rides with Ambode through the campaign ground in Lagos (Lagos APC)

“The man who stabbed MC Oluomo lives on Apapa Road in Ebute Metta. Forget what the Commissioner of Police is telling you”, the APC source offers.

Wanted for culpable homicide

The Lagos State Police Command has declared a chieftain of the NURTW, Mustapha Adekunle aka Seigo, wanted for the stabbing of MC Oluomo.

Lagos police spokesperson Chike Oti, says Seigo arrived the rally with a group of persons who went on to unleash mayhem as the rally progressed.

“However, at the tail end of the event, Seigo and his group, for a reason yet to be determined, violently engaged other supporters of the party. In the ensuing melee, one MC Oluomo, another NURTW chieftain, was stabbed and was rushed to Eko Hospital where he is currently recuperating, while two other victims of the attack were taken to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) for treatment. The crisis was quickly contained by policemen at the venue.” Oti stated.

The police has also declared Seigo a wanted man.

Lagos state police commissioner Imohimi Edgal held peace talk meetings with NURTW Lagos before the rally that turned violent (Punch)Lagos state police commissioner Imohimi Edgal held peace talk meetings with NURTW Lagos before the rally that turned violent (Punch)

Lagos state police commissioner Imohimi Edgal held peace talk meetings with NURTW Lagos before the rally that turned violent (Punch)

Oti says it is surprising that the thugs disrupted the rally even after Lagos Police Commissioner, Imohimi Edgal, held peace talks with various factions of NURTW before the event and extracted commitments from them to the effect that no one was going to disrupt the campaign rally.

“It was therefore surprising that a prominent member of NURTW would attempt to violently disrupt a peaceful political rally. In view of the development, the Command wishes to encourage members of the public with useful information on the whereabouts of Mustapha Adekunle popularly known as Seigo to report such at the nearest police station,” Oti added.

However, APC sources loyal to the Sanwo-Olu camp tell Pulse that the police is not pointing at the real culprits of the violence and stabbings.

Ambode  acknowledges cheers from APC faithful during flagoff of Lagos campaign rally on January 8, 2019. (Lagos APC)Ambode acknowledges cheers from APC faithful during flagoff of Lagos campaign rally on January 8, 2019. (Lagos APC)

Ambode acknowledges cheers from APC faithful during flagoff of Lagos campaign rally on January 8, 2019. (Lagos APC)

“The Seigo they are declaring wanted is a close ally of MC Oluomo. How will Seigo stab his own close friend? The police is deliberately chasing shadows here. They should ask Kunle Poly and Agbede about the violence and not try to rope in an innocent Seigo who has no reason to stab his friend MC Oluomo”, one APC source says. 

The reign of thugs

APC governed Lagos runs a patronage political system where motor park lords and street urchins extract rent from residents, political godfathers, motorists and the state government. 

These motor park lords have louts who answer to them and who they often command to wreak havoc on their behalf. 

DR Congo poll: The divisive aftermath of Tshisekedi's victory

The elections board in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, early Thursday declared a president-elect in what will become the first peaceful transition of power in the troubled country.

Felix Tshisekedi, 56, was named winner of hotly contested elections of December 30, 2018. Son of a deceased opposition veteran will take over from outgoing Joseph Kabila.

The provisional results by CENI showed that Tshisekedi got over seven million votes representing over 38% of valid votes cast. He beat another opposition leader, Martin Fayulu, who came in second with about 35%.

Since the results were declared, there has been a series of reactions: victory celebrations in the capital Kinshasa, reported protests by Fayulu supporters and a diplomatic doubt as well as government and ruling party concession.

This LIVE page is to follow closely developments in the wake of the declaration. 

Claims of Kabila – Tshisekedi plot: how true? 

A number of people on social media are drawing conspiracy theories around the Tshisekedi victory, claiming that a deal must have been reached between the president-elect and the outgoing president.

The theorists hold that with the ruling party’s candidate clearly staring at defeat, Kabila opted for the lesser of two evils in the opposition camp, the CACH coalition.

The other camp led by Martin Fayulu – the Lamuka coalition – has two of Kabila’s political arch rivals in the persons of Moise Katumbi, a former governor of Katanga Province and Jean Pierre-Bemba – a former vice president.

Below are some of the claims about a Tshisekedi – Kabila “love story.”

Catholic Bishops say poll results ‘don’t add up’ 

The Catholic Church in DRC, CENCO, has reacted to the declaration of Felix Tshisekedi as president-elect of the country. 

The church said results announced by the elections board, CENI, did not match with tallies it had through its observers.

CENCO had last week declared that its records from the vote showed that there was an outright winner from the December 30, 2018 elections. It’s declaration was slammed by CENI and the ruling coalition.

They did not mention who was the winner in their tallies but its widely believed to be Martin Fayulu who leads an opposition coalition, Lamuka. Fayulu has rejected the results and called for observers to publish their figures.

Internet restored after release of results 

Internet has been restored across the country after a blackout that lasted over a week. Authorities justified the move and said it was to help avert the publication of fake results and compromising security.

People in the capital, Kinshasa, are now able to access the internet hours after the announcement of provisional results.

The BBC reports that persons in the eastern city of Goma had also confirmed that the internet was back. It remains to be known when the broadcast signal of French broadcaster, RFI and a local TV channel will be restored.

Amid the massive celebrations on the part of the Tshisekedi camp, pro-Fayulu supporters are protesting the defeat of their candidate.

Fayulu came second according to the results. He was leader of the Lamuka coalition, he has since called for the Catholic Church, SADC and AU to publish their versions of the results.

Brief about President-Elect Felix Tshisekedi 

1 – Full name: Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, born on June 13, 1963 – aged 56
2 – Son of veteran opposition leader, late Etienne Tshisekedi. Dad founded Union for Democracy and Social Progress, UDPS, in 1982.
3 – In early twenties, went to Belgium for university education, later became national secretary for external affairs for the UDPS, based in Brussels.
4 – Father died in early 2017, UPDS picked Felix as party leader and by default presidential candidate.
5 – Joined and abandoned Lamuka coalition. Weeks later he announced a two-man coalition with Vital Kamerhe, the CACH coalition, in Nairobi.
6 – Declared president-elect after December 30, 2018 elections.

Statement from UN Secretary-General 

The Secretary-General takes note of the announcement made by the Commission électorale nationale indépendante (CENI) of the provisional results of the 30 December presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). 

He commends the Congolese people and political actors for the conduct of the presidential, national and provincial legislative elections, which saw a broad and inclusive participation of political parties. 

The Secretary-General calls on all stakeholders to refrain from violence and to channel any eventual electoral disputes through the established institutional mechanisms in line with the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Constitution and relevant electoral laws.

The Secretary-General expresses the hope that the CENI, the Constitutional Court, the Government, political parties and civil society will each live up to their responsibility in preserving stability and upholding democratic practices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Secretary-General further reiterates the continued support and commitment of the United Nations, in collaboration with regional actors and international partners, for the consolidation of peace, stability and development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 9 January 2019

Results as released by CENI

1 – Monsieur Félix Antoine TSHISEKEDITSHILOMBO: 7,051,013 (38.57%.)
2 – Monsieur Martin FAYULU MADIDI: 6,366,732 (34.83%)
3 – Monsieur Emmanuel SHADARY: 4,357,359 (23.84%)

Voter turnout: 47.56%

Fayulu calls for publication of independent results 

A fellow opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu, has rejected the results of the December 30, 2018 which said he came in second behind president-elect Felix Tshisekedi.

In a statement from the coalition he led, Lamuka, he asked the Catholic Church and the regional SADC observer mission and the African Union to release their result tallies from the vote.

Meanwhile there are reports of protests in Fayulu strongholds given that his supporters insist that he was the duly elected candidate. The Catholic Church last week said its tallies showed that an outright winner had won.

Foreign media outlets later reported that the said candidate was Fayulu whose coalition included two barred aspirants and two other presidential aspirants.

France and Belgium shocked by results 

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called for clarity on the election results, saying the surprise victory of Felix Tshisekedi was at odds with what was seen on the ground.

“We must have clarity on these results, which are the opposite to what we expected. The Catholic Church of Congo did its tally and announced completely different results,” Le Drian told CNews.

His Belgian counterpart also expressed similar views: “We have some doubts that we need to check and which will be debated in the coming days in the Security Council,” Mr Didier Reynders told the Belgian national broadcaster, RTBF.

Kinshasa slams Paris doubts over results 

DRC’s information minister, Lambert Mende, in his initial comments about the results said the ruling FCC coalition takes note of the results and that it was surprised but respected the work of the election board, CENI.

On the claims by French Foreign Minister, Mende said Kinshasa disapproved the words of Jean-Yves Le Drain. 

He slammed what he claimed was interference which he said the FCC rejects. He chided the Minister to approve a President for the Congolese people if he wanted.

Tshisekedi supporters break loose in Kinshasa

‘Democracy has triumphed’ – Kabila’s top advisor 

“Of course we are not happy as our candidate lost, but the Congolese people have chosen and democracy has triumphed,” one of outgoing Kabila’s top advisors has said.

Barnabe Kikaya Bin Karubi was reacting to the election results declared by CENI in the wee hours of Thursday. 

The ruling coalition’s candidate and former Interior Minister, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, came in third in the December 30, 2018 long-delayed elections.

Tshisekedi pays homage to Kabila 

“First of all I wish to thank God, the master of time and circumstances who allowed for such an event which a few weeks ago was still unimaginable. 

“That is why I follow it directly with – and I know many of you find it hard to accept – but I say it with sincerity, I pay homage to President Joseph Kabila, President of the Republic.”

“Today, we must no longer consider each other as adversaries but rather as partners in democratic change in our country.” Speaking to thousands of cheering supporters in the capital Kinshasa, Tshisekedi said he would be the president “of all Congolese”.

Felix Tshisekedi: Opposition leader named winner in DR Congo presidential election

Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi has won the long-delayed presidential election, the electoral commission announced early on Thursday to the surprise of many, as the vast country braced for possible protests over alleged rigging.

Tshisekedi, who received more than 7 million votes, or 38%, had not been widely considered the leading candidate and is relatively untested. The son of late opposition leader Etienne, who pursued the presidency for many years, he surprised Congolese last year by breaking away from an opposition effort to unite behind a single candidate.

Some observers have suggested that President Joseph Kabila’s government sought to make a deal as hopes faded for a win for ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who received more than 4 million votes, or 23%.

It was not immediately clear whether opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, who had pushed hard for Kabila to leave power and vowed to clean up DRC’s widespread corruption, will contest the results after leading in polling. The constitutional court has 14 days to validate them. Fayulu received more than 6 million votes, or 34%.

‘This is the coronation of a lifetime’

This is DRC’s first peaceful, democratic transfer of power since independence in 1960. Kabila has ruled since 2001 in the troubled nation rich in the minerals key to smartphones around the world and has amassed vast wealth. He is barred from serving three consecutive terms, but during more than two years of election delays many Congolese feared he’d find a way to stay in office.

“This is the coronation of a lifetime,” the deputy secretary-general of Tshisekedi’s party, Rubens Mikindo, said above the cheers at party headquarters. “This is the beginning of national reconciliation.”

Scores of people in the capital, Kinshasa, danced after the election results were announced long after midnight, but observers waited to see how other Congolese would respond, especially after Fayulu this week warned that the results were “not negotiable.”

Activist groups on Wednesday urged people to “be ready to massively take to the streets” if results didn’t match “the truth of the ballot boxes.”

Attention turns to Congo’s powerful Catholic church, which has said its 40,000 election observers at all polling stations found a “clear winner” but was barred by electoral regulations from saying more.

If the church found Fayulu won, “how will population react?” Stephanie Wolters, analyst with the Institute for Security Studies, posted on Twitter ahead of the announcement. She added, will the African Union “consider a power transfer ‘enough’ or will they push for investigation and real result?”

The delayed results come after international pressure to announce an outcome that reflected the will of the people. The United States threatened sanctions against officials who rigged the vote.

The largely peaceful election was marred by the malfunctioning of many voting machines that Congo used for the first time. Dozens of polling centers opened hours late as materials went missing. And in a last-minute decision, some 1 million of the country’s 40 million voters were barred from participating, with the electoral commission blaming a deadly Ebola virus outbreak.

Defiantly, tens of thousands of voters in one of the barred communities held their own ballot on election day. Fayulu won easily.

Congo’s government cut internet service the day after the vote to prevent speculation on social media. As the electoral commission met this week, anti-riot police moved into place outside.

Some Congolese weary of Kabila’s long rule, two turbulent years of election delays and years of conflict that killed millions of people said they simply wanted peace. Some said they would be happy as long as Fayulu or Tshisekedi won, while recalling the violence that followed past disputed elections.

Many Congolese objected to Shadary, suspecting that Kabila would continue to rule from behind the scenes.

‘I deplore all the disorder’

Now DRC faces a new leader who is little known after spending many years in Belgium and living in the shadow of his outspoken father.

On Wednesday afternoon, hours before results were announced, some Tshisekedi supporters began to celebrate at his Union for Democracy and Social Progress party headquarters, with calendars already printed saying “Felix Tshisekedi president.”

The 56-year-old Tshisekedi took over as head of Congo’s most prominent opposition party in early 2018, a year after his father’s death.

Some Congolese have said Tshisekedi lost support by splitting the opposition. He was less visible in campaigning than Fayulu and did not make himself available to reporters after the vote. As he cast his ballot, he accused Congo’s government of deliberately creating a mess to spark a court challenge that could allow Kabila to extend his time in power.

“I deplore all the disorder,” Tshisekedi said.

United State hails Congolese voters, warn CENI and caution rogue politicians

Congo.

The United States Department of State on Thursday issued its first post-poll statement on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s December 30 elections.

The statement in part hailed the Congolese people who braved all odds to kick start a process of actualizing the first peaceful transfer of political power in sub-Saharan Africa’s largest nation.

It also expressed misgivings about the National Independent Electoral Commission, CENI’s, actions in the lead up to, during and in the aftermath of the vote.

The statement cautioned CENI against result manipulation tasking it to ensure accurate reporting of the post-vote process. In a third part, it cautioned politicians who might want to subvert the will of the people by their actions.

It said despite issued afflicting the process: “… millions of Congolese citizens turned out peacefully across DRC on election day to cast their ballots and make their voices heard. ‎CENI must now ensure that these voices and votes are respected.”

Already the powerful Catholic Church has reported that its tallies shows an outright winner of the polls.

Word of caution to CENI

We strongly urge the CENI to ensure that votes are counted in a transparent and open manner, with observers present, and that the results reported by CENI are accurate and correspond to results announced at each of DRC’s 75,000 polling stations. 

We support the African Union Election Observation Mission to DRC’s expectation, expressed on January 2, that the announced results align with votes cast by the Congolese people.

Caution to rogue politicians and regime officials 

As official results are tabulated and reported, we continue to urge DRCgovernment officials, leaders of the DRCsecurity forces, opposition party leaders, civil society representatives, and stakeholders from all sides to respect the law and reject violence. 

There are moments in every nation’s history when individuals and political leaders step forward and do the right thing. This is one of those moments for the DRC. 

Those who enable a peaceful, democratic transfer of power out of respect for DRC’s constitution and the results of this election will be hailed, while those responsible for undermining democratic institutions and processes, threatening the peace, security, or stability of DRC or benefiting from corruption ‎will be held accountable. 

Those who undermine the democratic process, threaten the peace, security or stability of the DRC, or benefit from corruption may find themselves not welcome in the United States and cut off from the U.S. financial system. 

Message to history-chasing Congolese 

The United States stands by the millions of Congolese voters who went to the polls across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on December 30 to participate in presidential, legislative, and provincial assembly elections. 

Since independence in 1960, the DRC has never experienced a peaceful, democratic transfer of power. The December 30 election was therefore one of the most important elections in DRC history.

DRC polls: No election in Beni, Butembo, Yumbi until March 2019

Congo

Congo’s electoral commission said on Wednesday that it was delaying Sunday’s presidential and legislative elections in three cities until next March, meaning that their votes would not be taken into account in the presidential contest.

The cities concerned are Beni and Butembo in the east, which have been dealing with an Ebola outbreak since August, and Yumbi in the west, where more than 100 people were killed in ethnic violence last week.

The elections will go ahead elsewhere in the vast central African nation on Sunday as planned, the commission said in its statement. Final results for the presidential election will be announced on Jan. 15 and the new president sworn in on Jan. 18. 

Explaining the delay, the CENI cited “the persistence of the Ebola epidemic that continues to dangerously strike the electoral districts of Beni, the city of Beni and the city of Butembo…as well as the terrorist threat that lingers in the region”.

Blow to opposition?

Beni and Butembo are known as bastions of opposition to outgoing President Joseph Kabila, who is supporting his former interior minister, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, in the race.

Leading opposition candidate Martin Fayulu had warned the CENI against any move to shelve voting in Beni and Butembo in a tweet earlier on Wednesday. 

“The pretext of Ebola is fallacious because there has been campaigning in these areas. It’s yet another strategy to hijack the truth of the polls,” he tweeted.

The elections, which were originally meant to take place in 2016, have been repeatedly postponed, sparking violence in which security forces have killed dozens of people.

CENI pushed the election date back by seven more days last week due to delays deploying voting materials.