A violent clash erupted on Sunday morning between the Hausa community and the Yoruba community in Oke -Odo market, at the Alimosho area of Lagos.
Information has it that the fight which started as a minor misunderstanding between a Yoruba hoodlum, popularly known as ‘Area Boy’ and an Hausa scavenger in the market, escalated into a bloody clash.
Eye witness account has it that the Area Boy, who was carrying some goods on his head was pushed by the Hausa scavenger in error and the goods fell down.
According to a man who gave his name simply as Shola, “ The Area boy was angry when the goods he was carrying fell. The Hausa man just said sorry and walked away. Out of anger, the Area Boy dragged the Hausa man back and an argument ensued between the two parties.
“ The argument led to a fight and their friends joined in the fight. It suddenly became an Hausa and Yoruba fight as both tribe started attacking shop owners they knew to be from the opposite tribes.
While many were injured in the clash, it took the intervention of men from the Rapid Response Squad, the Lagos State Taskforce and other units of the Lagos State Police Command to restore peace in the area.
Confirming the incident, the Lagos Police Spokesperson, Elkana Bala said five suspects – Kabiru Mohammed, Kabiru Adamu, Bashiru Mohammed, Saliu Madu and Yusuf Amuda – were arrested in connection with the breach of peace.
Giving further details on the incident, Bala said, “ On August 18, 2019, at 10.00am, Alhaji Adekunle Habib, of Ilepo market reported at Oke Ode Police Station that there was a misunderstanding between one Hausa scavenger and an Area Boy from yoruba ethnic group.
“ The Area Boy was carrying some goods on his head and was pushed by the Hausa boy in error and the goods fell down. Arguments ensued between the two parties which led to exchange of blows.
“ Friends of the two parties joined in solidarity fight and other miscreants took advantage of the moment to steal and loot. They blocked Lagos/Abeokuta express way. What started as a fight between two miscreants almost snowballed into ethnic crises, if not for the timely intervention of the Police.
“ Police teams from Oke Odo Division were the initial responders. The Command sent reinforcements from the Operations Department, Rapid Response Squads, Taskforce, Tactical Units and Police Mobile Force. Divisions within the Area Command equally sent reinforcements.
“ The situation was brought under control and traffic cleared. No death recorded but four persons sustained various degrees of injuries and are receiving medical attention. Normalcy has been restored and patrols are ongoing in the affected areas.”
The police spokesperson said the arrested suspects will be charged to court.