Friday, 4 March 2016


Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday shut the popular Mile 12 market where a clash left no fewer than 10 people dead.

A massive security cordon was weaved around the huge market on Ikorodu Road and some streets.
Houses, vehicles and other property were either razed or vandalised by hoodlums.

For hours, the police battled to return peace to the market and Agiliti, a nearby community.

The Rapid Response Squad – the elite team of the Lagos Police – was stretched to its limit trying to stop the violence.

The governor ordered restriction of movement in the area to prevent an escalation of the violence.

Ambode said last night that calm had been restored and urged Lagosians living in the area to keep the peace.

The violence started when a group of boys claiming to be on a reprisal mission, after an attack on a member of their trade, came with arms to attack the Agiliti community, which is behind the market.

Most of the boys in the group are believed to be Hausa traders and urchins.

They prevented motorists and pedestrians from moving out of the area early in the morning. They smashed buildings. A school was torched.

The crisis degenerated to an ethnic dimension and spread on to the everbusy Ikorodu Road.
It was learnt that the crisis started on Tuesday afternoon when a commercial motorcyclist hit and injured a boy in Agiliti.

The police moved in and stopped the crisis that followed around midnight on Tuesday.

The fight was said to have continued on Wednesday when three persons were injured.

The arrival of police vehicles did not stop the warring parties from burning tyres on the road as midnight approached.

Yesterday morning, the warring parties resumed their hostilities, this time with sophisticated weapons.

Not less than 20 houses were torched. A school was attacked, its building burnt.

Two security men were said to have been injured in the attack while the students scampered for safety.

There were broken bottles everywhere; perishable goods, mostly tomatoes, littered the roads.

An eye witness, Wale Olaitan, said: “This morning, we were not allowed to leave our house. Cars were smashed, people were harassed and bottles were thrown into our compound.”

A resident, Segun Mukaila, said over 50 houses were burnt.

“This started since Wednesday. We were thinking the fight had subsided when we heard siren. I took my younger brother to school yesterday. On my way, I received a call that they had resumed. On getting to where my shop is, a carpenter near my shop had been murdered. I learnt he fell while running and the hoodlums pounced on him and burnt him alive.”

Two primary school pupils were allegedly killed on the bridge near Agiliti. A 19-month-old baby identified as Daniel Igba, was snatched from his father who was severely beaten and knifed on his head.

Besides the two school children, it was gathered that about five people, including a man identified as Jelili who an eyewitness said was hacked to death, were killed. Two traders were also killed. Scores of people were injured.

It was learnt that about 20 houses were set ablaze, 27 vehicles-15 buses and 12 cars were razed. Among  them were five vehicles parked in the premises of a Cherubim and Saraphim Church, which was torched.

A plumber, Stephen Friday, who said he was busy at Lekki when he was contacted about the crisis, claimed that his 40-year-old mother, Cecilia, was missing.

There was hardly any street from Mile 12 Bus Stop up to Oremeran, Oyeniran, Ilaje, Awoye  and beyond the bridge to Maidan that did not feel the impact of the mayhem.

On the other side of Mile 12, weapons-totting hoodlums looted traders’ wares and cash.

As people scampered for safety, perishables, such as tomatoes, onions and yams, were thrown off. Shattered glasses from vandalised vehicles, shops and houses littered the area.

Trucks and wheelbarrows were used to evacuate the injured.

As at 4:30pm yesterday, displaced residents in the neighbourhood were relocating, for fear of another attack.

A man who gave his name as Sunday Nejo said it was impossible for him to stay in the community with his family, adding that he had never seen so much destruction in his life.

Despite the massive security presence and the curfew put in place by the state government, the residents expressed fears that the fight might continue.

A community leader, Mr. Yomi Odegbami said he saw the attackers hack Jelili, 30.

“Although this fight started three days ago, they were not as fierce as they became when the police arrived.

In Maidan, some armed boys who had red clothes on their heads were booing security agents stationed across the bridge.

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