At least five persons were killed on Thursday and several others injured in an apparent ethnic tussle at the popular Mile 12 Market in the Ketu area of Lagos state. Several persons were injured, buildings were razed, goods looted, business activities grounded and traffic flow hampered on Thursday following the clash which began on Wednesday night.
On Thursday morning, members of the Hausa community stormed the Agiliti area, allegedly to avenge the death of an unnamed motorcyclist who was assaulted with a matchete by a Yoruba man and subsequently died on Thursday morning. The deceased Hausa man reportedly had an altercation with some hoodlums when he chose not to part with ‘ticket money’ and as he tried to drive off, he unknowingly hit a woman. He was beaten up by the hoodlums following the accident and the matchete strikes led to his death on Thursday.
When he as beaten up on Wednesday, it led to a free for all as his colleagues and kinsmen engaged the hooodlums, but following the confirmation of his death on Thursday, the sitaution worsened.
There are reports that some young men carted away rams whose owners had fled forr safety, while others armed with bottles, cutlasses and sticks took over the entire road. Vehicles were vandalised, shops looted as people rushed into moving vehicles just to leave the scene of the crisis. Firemen trying to put off an inferno were stopped by the hoodlums.
It took the intervention of soldiers who came to the area in three vans before peace could be restored to the area.
As a result of the fracas, Gov Ambode on Thursay ordered the temporary closure of the market. The governor also announced the restriction of movement on four streets in the area including Oniyanri Street, Maidan Street, Agiliti 1 and Agiliti 2 streets.
The governor, according to a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Haruna, said the decision to shut the market and restrict movement on the streets was to enable security agencies restore calm in the area.
“Today, I have just been informed that some miscreants and criminal elements have exploited that dispute to cause a breakdown of law and order within the area. These types of clashes do occur from time to time in a multi-ethnic city like Lagos and the government has responded appropriately.
“The public is hereby assured that we will not shy away from our responsibilities to protect lives and property and we will deal decisively with those criminal elements who fan the embers of ethnic strife,” Gov. Ambode said.