There was tension within the Lagos metropolis in the early hours of Thursday, March 3, following a very violent clash that resulted into deaths and the loss of property.
Here are five major very important highlights to be noted from the incident of today.
1. The clash was ethnicSources revealed that the fracas was spurred by some ethnic differences, majorly between the Hausa and Yoruba ethnic groups. The rift is said to have started after an Hausa motorcyclist knocked down a pedestrian who is reportedly Yoruba. The accident caused some Yoruba area boys to beat up the Hausa man and from that point the situation degenerated into an all out ethnic conflict.
2. The conflict has lasted for about three daysThe motorcyclist incident occurred about two days ago, hence there the showdown on Thursday, March 3 signals that the rift had been ongoing for about three day. Sources say there had been a heavy police presence within the agility of Mile 12, however no one could tell how the seemingly silent rift evolved into burning of houses and loss of lives.
3. There are conflicting reports regarding the death tollThere are conflicting claims regarding the death toll. Authorities claim no one died from the incident, however, sources on ground say the death toll lies between 4 and 6, with many others including policemen injured.
4. Security operatives were able to quell the stormThe joint efforts of the police and army was able to still the storm that was raging in Mile 12, as security operatives took the bull by the horn, taking on weapon brandishing youths within the area. Many of the irate youths were apprehended while some others fled.
According to the Lagos state commissioner of police, Fatai Owoseni, the police in conjunction with other security operatives brought the situation under control.
The police commissioner further informed that the situation is calm and that people that were agitating have been cleared off the road.
He said the roads are clear, stressing that substantial arrest had been made. “I can assure the public that those involved in that violence will be brought to justice,” the CP said.
According to Owoseni, over 50 suspects were arrested in connection with the dispute in the area.
5. Commercial activities were grounded as government shut down markets temporarilyWitnesses report that commercial activities were ground within the area as the clashing factions destroyed goods worth millions. The Lagos state government went on to ground operations in market within agility and the Mile 12 areas of Lagos. For quite some time, vehicular movement was brought to a halt as vehicles had no access through the Mile road.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state ordered the temporary closure of the Mile 12 Market, following the dispute.
Addressing Government House Correspondents at the Lagos House, Alausa, Governor Ambode said the decision to shut the market and restrict movement on the streets was to aid security agencies restore calm in the area.
“In order to further restore calm, I have ordered that Mile 12 Market be temporarily closed and urged traders, community leaders and other stakeholders to eschew violence; be calm and law abiding.
“Furthermore, I have also ordered a temporary restriction of movement in the following streets; Oniyanri street, Maidan Street, Agiliti 1 and Agiliti 2,” he said. The governor said the police and security operatives have been deployed to the area to quell the dispute, assuring residents that peace will be restored 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 strive.”
Governor Ambode said he had received reports from the commissioner of police and other security agencies on ground at the scene saying that the situation has been substantially put under control. He has also said that Lagos state will continue to be home to every Nigerian irrespective of their tribe or ethic affiliation, urging residents to continue to be law abiding.
“Let me assure Lagosians that the state is home to every tribe and ethnic group and nobody should give this disturbance any ethnic coloration whatsoever. Every law abiding citizens should go about their normal businesses,” Governor Ambode said.