By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The leadership of Aguiiyi Ironsi International Market Traders Association, a unit of Ladipo Market in Lagos has giving detailed account of how a trader was killed and three others inflicted with gun shot injuries by Airforce Officers that attacked the market on Tuesday.
It consequently vowed that all powers will be dissipated through legal mean to put an end to the incessant Intimidation and harassment of its members by military personnel.
The group also said a strong worded petition would be send to the Chief of Army Staff, the Inspector General of Police and the Governor of Lagos State on the incident to seek for justice.
At a joint press briefing on Wednesday at the secretariat of Ladipo Market, the chairman of Aguiiyi Ironsi International Market Traders Association Chief Emmanuel Mbamara disclosed that one person was killed, which three persons sustained high degree of gun shot injury.
Mbamara, whose unit the clash started from said it was unfortunate for police to claim nobody died during the clash in the market.
The Chairman who gave the name of the person who was shot dead by Air force personnel as Felix Onu, (28) and those injured and presently receiving treatment at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital as Chidinma Ifeanyi, Makuo Ekwuna, Ifeanyi Enyi and Chikezie Nlewem, said the crisis occurred when an Airforce personnel returned a Kickstarter he bought eight months ago for a replacement for malfunctioning or a refund of his money, which was resisted by the seller.
According to him, he was somewhere when the information reached him, but rushed down when he got to the market, it was already a war zone where bullets was flying around and people where scampering for safety.
He said: “Immediately entered into the market with the president General we were able to calm the traders with the assistance of the DPO Isolo and because of curiosity I want to my unit and addressed my colleagues and after talking to them I received a call those Airforc personnel have arrested by some military men at the Army resettlement centre, when I got there their commander was saying they acted on self defence that it was the traders that first attacked them which was not true.
” When I checked their operational vehicle two of our traders were held down and the commander begged we should followed him to his office at Airforc base, claiming it mandatory for their boys to shot whenever they are in danger and I told the commander to shot me as well because he was already taken side that was how we left the office.
“It is too becoming of the military to come into the market to threatened us after buying and found out that what they bought was not functioning well, we only gave a warranty for any goods bought in the market for only one week.”
Mr .Ajuluchukwu Ezeanyo, a witness who was at the scene when the crisis started said it is law in the market and well written on the board that whenever a military personnel comes into the market to buy things they don’t collect tolls from them.
Ezeanyo What caused the crisis was about a Kickstarter that was sold to the Airforc personnel eight months ago, only to returned it for not functioning well.
“I and some other executive members we were at the taskforce office in the market when the Airforce personnel who bought the Kickstarter came dressed in mufti with a friend, while we were attending to some customers, he started ranting that what they sold for him was not good and I tried to talked to him with another person, but he got angry and said we are going to know him, before we realised what was happening two patrol van came into the market, one of us Chikezie because he didn’t open gate for them on time they hit him with a iron on his head.
“It was in the process I started begging them, they refused to respond, these as being their way of life. Before I realised what was happening that they have started shooting sporadically and knelt down that they should stopped shooting that the casualties would be much in the process gunshot hit Felix and four others sustain injuries. I was the only one in the buffer zone, begging the operatives and the traders.
“Some people who were recording their activities was also shot at, one of the Airforce also pointed gun at me and threatened to shoot me if I dare say anything. They are not done with their shooting they still hit people with planks and iron, we are law abiding citizen, we didn’t burn their vehicle as claimed in some reports.”
The President General of the market, Mr Jude Nwankwo said military personnel have been troubling them in the market for long.
” This is the time we are going to stopped selling goods to the military men and we have also shutdown the market in honour of brothers who died and those sustained injuries. We have bear it enough.*
Meanwhile, the Commisissioner of Police Hakeem Odumosu insisted nobody died in the crisis.
The police boss while parading suspects at the command headquarters, Ikeja on Wednesday insisted that nobody died in the crisis between the traders and the Air force personnel.
Odumosu said it was only three people that sustained injury during the crisis and they are receiving treatment at the hospital, while the command is also working with the Air force authority to arrest the personnel for taken laws into their hands.