Killings continue in Mile 12 ethnic clash

Some parts of the   Mile 12 market and environs in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos, yesterday, were tension-soaked  following fresh killings by armed hoodlums suspected to be from the Northern part of the country. Four persons were reported killed in the renewed midnight ethnic clash which started on Wednesday night. Saturday Vanguard gathered that in spite of the curfew imposed in the area, some armed men arrived at  the early hours of yesterday through the canal and destroyed some shops in the market. Some homeless persons sleeping in the market and adjourning streets were suspected to have been killed.



resident, who simply gave his name as Oluwatimileyin, said: “ The Hausa men  crossed the Agilinti river with canoe and attacked residents of an estate at Isheri North, last night. They even burnt some buildings”. Irked by the invasion, some armed  Yoruba  youths  converged close to the market in readiness for another clash at about 1pm.  The irate youths, who chanted war songs attempted to invade the market and destroy  shops belonging to  Hausa traders.  But they were dispersed by security operatives with tear gas cannisters. Consequently, residents in the affected streets have been fleeing their abodes, following alleged threats by some Hausa youths to set their houses on fire at midnight.  Also, Hausa residents in the area have abandoned their homes for fear of being caught in the ethnic war. The popular Mile 12 market  was Thursday, turned into a theatre of war, during which no fewer than 12 persons were killed and several others injured. What started like a storm in a tea cup on Tuesday, snowballed into a big fracas two days later. The  ongoing crisis which began with a verbal confrontation  took a violent twist  after a commercial motorcyclist  popularly called okada hit a female trader. Consequently,  the popular Mile 12 market was  shut by the state government, with curfew imposed on four neighbouring streets:  Maidan, Agilinti 1, Agilinti 2 and Oniyanrin, close to the market.

How it happened According to eye witnesses’ account, a commercial motorcyclist from the northern part of the country who was riding against traffic  hit one of the residents, a Yoruba woman who sustained severe injuries. This attracted sympathy from co-residents, who argued that she should be taken to a nearby hospital at the expense of the rider. The Okada rider bluntly refused the idea and called his colleagues from the same ethnic group, during which a fight ensued.  This matter was amicably settled by some community leaders. Unfortunately, the victim passed on the following day, a development that drew the anger of the woman’s friends and subsequently led to fresh crisis on Thursday. On that Thursday most of those who became victims of the clash were commuters either going or returning from work. Sensing danger, the Okada rider’s friends and other co-okada riders from the Northern extraction re-mobilised and positioned themselves in various places wielding dangerous weapons to attack the Yoruba. The news spread such that some hoodlums took advantage of the situation by proceeding to Mile 12 market to vandalise and loot the traders’ shops. On noticing the development, the Hausa also strategised to torch and vandalise vehicles and buildings and by the time the dust settled, no fewer than 12 lives were lost while 12 buildings, 10 vehicles and other valuable items were destroyed. Victims’ accounts Some of the victims, who spoke to Saturday Vanguard, condemned the belated response of the Police at Mile 12 Division. “The  Police at Mile 12 did not respond on time and when they eventually arrived the scene, they could not stop the raging war,’’ Mr Igba Andrew, one of the victims, who was badly injured  and who also had his two-year-old son  kidnapped during the incident said: “I was at home when some Hausas came with guns, broken bottles and matchetes and forcefully took my son away and up till now, his whereabouts remain unknown,” A clergy, Pastor Adekunle Tanimowo, had his only building, church and car razed. ‘’I am left with nothing and only God can restore me. I was in the church preparing for the day’s event when my wife screamed in the house and I rushed to attend to her but to our surprise, some men were seen afar off conversing in Hausa language and we sensed danger. Without wasting time, we fled the scene with our children and while hiding somewhere, I got a call from somebody who alerted me that all our properties have been torched by the attackers.”

How it happened According to eye witnesses’ account, a commercial motorcyclist from the northern part of the country who was riding against traffic  hit one of the residents, a Yoruba woman who sustained severe injuries. This attracted sympathy from co-residents, who argued that she should be taken to a nearby hospital at the expense of the rider. The Okada rider bluntly refused the idea and called his colleagues from the same ethnic group, during which a fight ensued.  This matter was amicably settled by some community leaders. Unfortunately, the victim passed on the following day, a development that drew the anger of the woman’s friends and subsequently led to fresh crisis on Thursday. On that Thursday most of those who became victims of the clash were commuters either going or returning from work. Sensing danger, the Okada rider’s friends and other co-okada riders from the Northern extraction re-mobilised and positioned themselves in various places wielding dangerous weapons to attack the Yoruba. The news spread such that some hoodlums took advantage of the situation by proceeding to Mile 12 market to vandalise and loot the traders’ shops. On noticing the development, the Hausa also strategised to torch and vandalise vehicles and buildings and by the time the dust settled, no fewer than 12 lives were lost while 12 buildings, 10 vehicles and other valuable items were destroyed. Victims’ accounts Some of the victims, who spoke to Saturday Vanguard, condemned the belated response of the Police at Mile 12 Division. “The  Police at Mile 12 did not respond on time and when they eventually arrived the scene, they could not stop the raging war,’’ Mr Igba Andrew, one of the victims, who was badly injured  and who also had his two-year-old son  kidnapped during the incident said: “I was at home when some Hausas came with guns, broken bottles and matchetes and forcefully took my son away and up till now, his whereabouts remain unknown,” A clergy, Pastor Adekunle Tanimowo, had his only building, church and car razed. ‘’I am left with nothing and only God can restore me. I was in the church preparing for the day’s event when my wife screamed in the house and I rushed to attend to her but to our surprise, some men were seen afar off conversing in Hausa language and we sensed danger. Without wasting time, we fled the scene with our children and while hiding somewhere, I got a call from somebody who alerted me that all our properties have been torched by the attackers.”

Credit : Vanguard