New Telegraph

Bloody clashes rock Lagos

  • Soldiers deployed to check gunfights


In the last couple of days, Lagos, the commercial hub of Nigeria, has literally been on fire. Violence has erupted in almost all parts of the Centre of Excellence. But to check the violence, military personnel were yesterday deployed in the Alakuko area of the Lagos metropolis as clashes between two rival cult groups, which started on Saturday, snowballed on Monday.


According to sources, some people have been killed in the mayhem, with several others injured. Parents refused to allow their children to go to school while commercial activities were grounded as shops remained closed. The marauding cultists, alleged to be members of the ‘One Million Boys,’ notorious for troubling Agege residents, destroyed a lot of property while fighting in what many claimed was supremacy battle.


The crisis yesterday caused the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, to call an emergency security meeting, involving area commanders and Mobile Police commanders. Yesterday afternoon, the military and policemen were sighted in the areas. The divisional police officers of Alakuko and Alayinla stations also came out to join in the patrol of the communities.


According to residents, due to the presence of the military, an uneasy calm has prevailed, but they expressed fear that the hoodlums might return once the operatives leave. Before the arrival of the military, a source said that the crisis had affected Alakuko, Dalemo and Lamina Ganiu areas.


A resident of Dalemo said: “We can’t go out now. I live in Dalemo and I learnt the rival group has killed the second in command to Confidence, who was the leader of the Eye Cult group at Dalemo.”


Another resident, identified as Kayode, said that the fighting had caused shops and schools to be closed for the day, while sporadic shootings continued. He added: “There is no vehicular movement and residents are running for their lives.



It’s like a war zone.” Another resident, who took to the social media to complain, said: “This is to inform the respected CP Lagos State that Alakuo, including Dalemo, Mao Junction and Kola areas have been on fire for the past five days now. Young boys between ages 14 and 19 years have been on the rampage in the area, armed with dangerous weapons such as guns, cutlasses and iron bars. They attack innocent people, destroy and loot shops. Their operations are usually between 8pm and 9pm. “They have been operating since last year but this time around, they operate daily and freely.


At night, these boys are seen hanging around Dalemo and Mao Junction with Indian hemp. My wife just called me now that those boys have started again at Dalemo. I called friends at Dalemo and they confirmed the incident. We need urgent intervention.


One person was killed on Friday and three persons were reported to have been killed three days before Friday.” The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Muyiwa Adejobi, on Sunday, tweeted: “Policemen are at Alakuko to restore normalcy to the area.


The bad boys who caused the problem at that place came into the area from a neighbouring community. We are aware of this and working towards finding a lasting solution to it. The commissioner of police is on it.” Yesterday, Adejobi said: “We have affected some arrests. I will make the command’s position on this known soon.”


Similarly, there was mayhem at the Itire area of Lagos State on Saturday, where armed policemen shot directly at civilians. The police hierarchy in Lagos State was yet to make an official remark on the matter. In fact, several videos flooded the internet on Saturday, showing policemen shooting directly at civilians at the Itire area of Surulere of the metropolis.


Adejobi has refused to comment on the incident despite repeated questions from journalists, demanding to know the cause of the confrontation. The silence of the police has naturally fuelled stories from different quarters, with many alleging that some men of northern extraction were in a bloody gun duel with the police for some unfathomable reasons.


The number of people killed and those injured has not been established. But residents scampered for safety to avoid flying bullets. Commercial activities were grounded and residents locked their houses and remained indoors.


Another version of the story claimed that the policemen and commercial cyclists were engaged in the mother of all battles because the policemen allegedly impounded their motorcycles.


A worried Nigerian posted on social media: “There is pandemonium at the moment around Itire, Surulere, Lagos State, following the clash between police officers and protesting commercial motorcyclists (Okada riders) in the area.


“According to reports gathered, the Okada riders were protesting this morning against the seizure of their motorcycles by the police before the confrontation started. Police officers reportedly shot at the riders, leading to at least one dead and some injured.”


However, in some of the videos, the grounds have turned red with blood and a young man is seen staggering with his mouth torn apart by a bullet. People standing by, rather than taking the injured man to hospital, could be heard yelling at him to stagger that way to the nearest police station.


Another video shows a young man covered in blood, with sympathisers attempting to lift and carry him to hospital. Even as they struggle to carry him, one of them could be heard, saying: “This guy is dead.”


In another video, policemen are seen shooting directly at the civilians, while also dodging sticks and stones being hurled at them. The policemen are also seen with machetes. Some are in uniforms, others are in Herdsmen mufti.

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