Two feared Dead In Area Boys-Okada Riders Clash at Mile 12 Mkt

…Cars Set Ablaze
…As Ambode Orders Closure Of Mkt
…Police Arrests 50 Suspects

No fewer than two persons were feared dead while hundreds of residents of Agiliti community in the Mile 12 area of Lagos state live in fear, as hoodlums otherwise referred to as ‘Area boys’ engaged commercial cyclists popularly called ‘Okada riders’ in a free for all fight on Thursday morning.
This is just as the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has ordered the immediate closure of the Mile 12 market.
The Governor also announced the restriction of movement on four streets in the area including Oniyanri Street, Maidan Street, Agiliti 1 and Agiliti 2 streets.
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”. he said
The Governor said he had received reports from the Commissioner of Police and other security agencies who are on ground at the scene saying that the situation has been substantially put under control.
He also used the opportunity to reiterate 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,” Ambode said.
Already, there are two accounts of what brought about the fight between the two groups
One of the accounts AbelNews learnt was that one of the okada riders (an Hausa man) was allegedly beaten up on Tuesday evening, for riding against traffic on the dual carriageway that leading to the area.
As a result of this the okada riders, who are mostly Hausa men allegedly reported to other riders, who re-grouped and fight back.
The second account, the platform learnt was that one of the okada riders; an Hausa man knocked down a woman with his okada and was asked to take the woman to the hospital but that he refused saying the association ,which he belong as okada riders should take care of the woman’s treatment.
This was said to have angered those who wanted the okada rider to treat the woman and beat the okada man up.
The okada man, it was learnt cried to his group, who re-grouped and it became a free for all fight went on until the police intervened.
However, Police intervention did not immediately quell the fight as the warring parties were still brandishing cutlasses and throwing bottles at one another.

 Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left), addressing the media on the Mile 12 clash, at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Thursday, March 03, 2016. (L-R) With him are Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem; Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni and Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left), addressing the media on the Mile 12 clash, at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Thursday, March 03, 2016. With him are Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem; Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni and Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde.

The dangerous weapons they were brandishing AbelNews learnt scared commercial busses, commuters and pedestrians from the area, as everyone was said to have taken to their heels.
Despite the presence of the police, the two groups continued the fight and after which they resulted to burning tyres on the road.
However, security men; made up of police and soldiers have been deployed to the area to prevent lost of lives and break down of the rule of law.
AbelNews learnt that this morning (Thursday) the area boys prevented the okada riders from operating.
Already cars have been vandalised, others burnt down while some house were equally touched.
The fight has brought about traffic gridlock at the ever busy Ikorodu road, as motorists were forced to abandoned their cars and run for their dear lives.
Already, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni and the Commander Rapid Respond Squad, Olatunji Disu and other security personnel have visited the Mile 12 Market for the on the spot assessment of the fracas.
Speaking on the development Owoseni said the police has brought the situation under control, adding that the police will move in right away to enforce the order by the government.
He said there was no iota of truth in the rumours making rounds that two persons were killed during the clash, saying that such report was far from the truth.
“The restriction is starting right away and it will be so until the situation normalizes completely. I was there personally I did not witness anybody killed. I was there all through before I came here. The situation is calm; people that were agitating have been cleared off the road. The roads are clear and as I am talking to you, substantial arrest has been made and I can assure the public that those involved in that violence will be brought to justice.” the CP said.
Owoseni dismissed reports that there was a fire outbreak in Mile 12 Market, adding that over 50 suspects have been arrested in connection to the dispute in the area.
“I’m telling you what I saw and what I witnessed. As at the time I left the scene to come to this place, there was no fire at Mile 12 Market. It was within Agiliti where some vehicles were being burnt by miscreants and as I told you, those miscreants have been cleared off the road,” Owoseni said.