There is panic in Lagos over the murder on Sunday night of the Chairman of the state’s chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Saka Saula.
Eyewitnesses said he was shot in his home in the Iyana Ipaja area by four men about 9 p.m. He was rushed to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja where he was confirmed dead.
His followers protested on Monday, an action which paralysed business activities in Iyana Ipaja.
Commuters feared the worst in the Oshodi area until the presence of police calmed nerves. Several passengers were stranded at bus stops around the city.
"There is no how his followers will not go on the revenge against those who opposed his leadership of the union", an apprehensive Lagosian around Bolade bus stop in Oshodi said as he hurriedly left off.
The police along with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have placed their officers on red alert.
NSCDC Spokesman, Kayode Olasekun, said: "We have sent our people to every part of the state where we suspect there could be a crisis."
Police Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, confirmed the death; and Police Commissioner, Muhammed Abubakar, added that its investigation has begun.
Abubakar expressed sympathy for the family, friends and supporters of Saula, with a promise that everything would be done to fish out the killers.
Some police officers received injuries when they tried to quell the riot that broke out in Ijana Ipaja as Saula’s supporters disrupted traffic and damaged vehicles.
A police source said the reason for the murder could not be ascertained at the moment, "but we would soon come to that, because we have ordered a very thorough investigation. A number of arrests have been made which could lead somewhere."
Governor Babatunde Fashola, in his condolence letter to Saula’s family, described the development as saddening, and regretted that such an incident could occur despite the efforts of the government to reduce crime.
A statement issued by Information and Strategy Commissioner, Opeyemi Bamidele, quoted Fashola as saying that the state government would not back down on its commitment to safeguard life and property.
"We will do all that is necessary and use all security and intelligence apparati at our disposal to unravel this unwarranted gruesome murder. We would work with the police, SSS (State Security Service), and other law enforcement agencies to unravel those behind this dastardly act," he pledged.
Fashola urged every one to support the government to rid the society of criminals who cause trouble, as well as kill and maim innocent people.
"It is only by exposing people with criminal intent and co-operation by landlords in refusing to harbor undesirable elements in our midst that the society can be peaceful and secure for meaningful development."
He implored members of the NURTW not to take the law into their hands as reprisals could worsen the situation and distract law enforcement agencies from fishing out the murderers.
Transportation Commissioner, Bamidele Badejo, described Saula’s murder as "a callous act of cowardice, an ugly development, a colossal loss, and an immeasurable setback for the NURTW."