Two persons were feared killed and many vehicles destroyed after members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), tricycle operators and traders from Ladipo spare parts market clashed at Five-Star bus stop on Oshodi-Apapa expressway yesterday.
Stray bullets reportedly hit the deceased, said to be traders. The incident forced traders in the area to hurriedly close their shops over fears of reprisal attack. It took the intervention of soldiers and policemen to restore normalcy in the area.
Gathered that the fight began when an Okada rider was asked to pay a ticket fee by a member of the NURTW, popularly referred to as Agbero. The motorcyclist’s refusal resulted in two thugs raining punches on the okada rider and his passenger, who was identified as one of the line chairmen at Ladipo market.
According to an eyewitness, who simply identified himself as Christopher, trouble started when the NURTW boys started harassing the market leader for intervening on the bike man’s behalf. This made some traders in market to come to the rescue of their leader.
“The passenger told the thugs to allow the bike rider drop him first before forcing him to get the ticket but this infuriated the thugs. An argument ensued, which led to exchange of punches with the passenger.
“The passenger who was outnumbered and overpowered ran into the market and called his fellow traders. This fueled the fight between the union and the traders. But with the intervention of the police and OP MESA officers, sanity was restored.”
It was also gathered that the thugs mobilized some hoodlums from Oshodi and Mushin who came with guns and bottles, seized bikes and destroyed vehicles parked around the bus stop.
When contacted, spokesman of the Lagos State Police Command, SP Muyiwa Adejobi, said the fight was between okada and tricycle operators.
He said: “Around 11:00a.m. we were notified of the clash between these operators which made swing into action to restore peace in the area. I was told that were no casualties, but I would not know if anyone was macheted by hoodlums.
“The Commissioner of Police has directed the Commander at Area D Command, Mushin, Aliko Dankoli, to do proper investigation of the clash.”
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