Posted by By CHRIS ANUCHA, FEMI SALAWU and PATRICIA ONYEKWERE on
No fewer than four persons were confirmed dead and several others wounded, when street urchins, popularly known as Area Boys clashed Tuesday....
No fewer than four persons were confirmed dead and several others wounded, when street urchins, popularly known as Area Boys clashed Tuesday in the Oshodi area of Lagos.
The crisis which started at about 11a.m. also saw the hoodlums damaging over 11 cars parked in the streets and people’s compounds.
One of the dead persons was simply identified as Fatai.
Another victim, whose names could not be ascertained at press time was said to have been set ablaze by the hoodlums. The ever busy Oshodi was for hours deserted as commercial activities were brought to an abrupt halt. Traders, commuters and residents fled the area for fear of being attacked by the armed thugs.
There were many versions to the genesis of the crisis. One of such was that one Almaroof Kehinde Oloyede, a Special Assistant to the Minister of Works, had indicated his intention to start collecting tax from the markets and motor parks, which are major sources of revenue for the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area.
A source disclosed to Daily Sun that Almaroof had designed a singlet with the inscription, FMW (Federal Ministry of Works) and distributed them to his men numbering over 200. The men invaded Oshodi market Tuesday, asking traders to pay up.
It was when the men started collecting money from the traders that some touts attacked them.
An eyewitness, Mr Emmanuel Osondu said the touts brandished dangerous weapons and charms and made bonfires at different locations.
A pregnant woman was said to have fainted after receiving a machete cut.
The thugs later stormed the Akinpelu Police Station. And when they could not gain access into the police station after two attempts, they damaged a vehicle marked AZ 847 ABJ, impounded by a female police officer. At Olasumbo Street, off Akinpelu Street, the windscreen of eight other cars were also smashed.
Some of the hoodlums who put on masks allegedly broke into some shops and carted away money and some bottles of beer and minerals.
When Daily Sun visited the area, some mobile policemen were there to ensure that the crisis did not escalate.
The chairman of Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Area, Mr Azeez Ipesa –Balogun said it was the entire community that was against Almaroof and the hoodlums.
He told Daily Sun that the local government would officially make reports to the Federal Ministry of Works.
Police spokesman, Olubode Ojajuni told Daily Sun later in the day that the situation had been brought under control but he did not mention the number of people who had been arrested.
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