Tuesday, 25 April 2017


There was tension yesterday in Lagos State following bloody clashes in two different parts of the metropolis.
This occurred at the Idioro-Mushin and Ijegun areas of the state. The Mushin clash is between two cult groups, while the Ijegun crisis is between members of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) and Hausa scavengers.

The cultists in Mushin were said to have come from two streets. The mayhem, which grounded commercial activities in Mushin, witnessed residents locking themselves indoors.
Trouble started when youth numbering over 100 invaded Idi Oro market and reportedly demanded money. Youth in Alamutu Street resisted the move, this led to a fight

Dangerous weapons; machetes, axe, iron rods and bottles were freely used during the fight.
At least three shops and a building were burning when police arrived at the scene. Food items bags of beans, bags of garri, fufu and palm oil were destroyed.
While the fight raged, another set of hoodlums seized the opportunity to loot shops and also steal food items.

The Mushin mayhem was quelled by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS). The RRS men dispersed the hoodlums with canisters of tear gas before the arrival of more policemen.
A pharmacy store owner, who declined to mention his name, said that stated that his shop was burnt because he refused to give the cultists N600. He noted that this was the third time his shop would be burnt over one crisis or the other in Idi Oro.

About 30 youth have so far been arrested over the incident. Residents confirmed those arrested were leaders and gang members involved in the fracas.

More than three bags of Indian hemp, machetes, axes and rods were recovered by RRS and Taskforce officials.

A resident said: “There has been a week long clashes between Akala Street boys, railway junction boys and New Balogun Street. The clashes snowballed into Monday’s bloody fight. Last week, two people were killed.”
A witness, who simply identified himself as Mr. Oke, said Idioro has known no peace for over a week now.

Oke said: “I have not seen such a volatile area since I came to Lagos. There’re many hoodlums and street urchins, who specialise in drinking, womanizing , cyber fraud, Indian hemp smoking , cultism and violence. Police have not been able to identify these boys and deal decisively with them. We need the presence of a military barracks here to put an end to this crisis. We no longer sleep with our two eyes close.”

A commercial bus driver, Mr. Ajani Oshodi, said: “As early as 7am, the fight had already begun. I didn’t know. Nobody told me. I loaded passengers and ran onto them at Idioro. They turned on innocent passengers and started snatching their handbags and phone.”

At Ijegun, some Hausa scavengers yesterday embarked on a protest, claiming that two of their
brothers were killed by members of the OPC, guarding oil pipelines.

They also alleged that they live along the pipeline area, but are always being harassed and intimidated by the OPC members.

It was learnt an OPC member stormed the area and demanded money from the scavengers. The scavengers refused to give the money.
The OPC left and later returned with re-enforcement. The scavengers and also mobilized their men and increased in number. It was alleged that sporadic gunshots from the OPC members killed Gazali Rabiu and Gadaffi Barawu.
At least 10 others were said to have sustained various degree of injuries and were rushed to the hospital.

In a return attack, the Hausa scavengers called their people in other communities. They teamed up and destroyed OPC’s security posts along the pipeline region.
It took the intervention of the Area M Commander, Idimu, Mr. Austine Akika, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and the Divisional Police Officer in-charge of Igando and Isheri to calm the angry scavengers.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Olarinde Famous Cole, who confirmed the Idiroko-Mushin incident, said that teams of policemen had been drafted to the scene. According to him there was no casualty.

He added: “We’re urging law abiding citizens to go about their normal businesses as police have subdued the erring hoodlums. Some arrests have been made and those arrested are helping us to get to others at large.”

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