By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Pandemonium on Monday erupted in Ojo area of Lagos following a violent clash between commercial motorcycle operators popularly known as ” Okada Riders” and members of the transport unions known as “Agbero” over hike in tariff paid by the operators.
Vehicles were reportedly vandalized and commercial activities disrupted, with bonfire set on the ever busy Lagos – Badagry Expressway by the warring groups.
Motorists who were caught in the clash were said to have scampered in different directions for safety, including road side traders and pedestrians.
A car, probably owned by a lecturer of the Lagos State University (LASU) was said to be among the vehicles damaged during the fracas that lasted several hours.
It could however not be ascertained as at the time of the report if any lost of lives was recorded during the clash.
Inspiite the damages recorded during the clash, the Lagos State Police Command described uproar as a disagreement between the members of the transport unions and the Okada unit in the area.
According to a release by the public relations officer CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the Command said normalcy has been restored to the area, with the deployment of additional police personnel to maintain law and order.
Confirming that the incident occurred at Iyana Iba/ Alaba Rago axis of the area, the release stated that the Commissioner of Police Hakeem Odumosu has also directed the Area Commander, Area E Festac, to personally be on ground to monitor the situation and invite the leaders of the affected Okada riders unit for an urgent meeting.
The release titled “OKADA RIDERS’ FIGHT: POLICE RESTORE NORMALCY TO IYANA IBA/ALABA RAGO AXIS, DEBUNK RUMOUR OF ETHNIC CLASH” reads
” The Lagos State Police Command has restored normalcy to the Iyana Iba/Alaba Rago and Ojo areas of the state where there was a disagreement between the members of the transport unions, okada units precisely, on the increment in tariff today, Monday 26th April, 2021.
The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered for immediate deployment of additional police personnel to the area to maintain law and order as he also directed the Area Commander, Area E Festac, to personally be on ground to monitor the situation and invite the leaders of the affected Okada riders unit for an urgent meeting.
The Command wishes to debunk the rumor that the disagreement, not violence as being peddled in the social media, was between some ethnic groups. Without mincing words, the incident has no ethic colouration whatsoever but a mere conflict between transport unions and their okada units on ticketing and increment in tariff.
The Command therefore enjoins members of the public, especially those around the areas, including the students of the Lagos State University (LASU) Ojo, to go about their lawful businesses and studies respectively, as adequate deployment has been done to fortify security in the axis and by extension, in Lagos State in general”.