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Many injured in Hausa/Yoruba clash in Lagos

Makeshift shops burns, goods destroyed

By Evelyn Usman

Pandemonium broke out today, at Ilepo market, Oke-Odo, along the Lagos /Abeokuta expressway, following a clash between Hausa and Yoruba traders.

Although there was no loss of life but several persons were severely injured, while goods worth millions of naira were destroyed, with some makeshift shops burnt.

There were different accounts as to how the trouble started.

A version of the account said a fight broke out Saturday night, between some suspected cultists and Hausa scavengers around the dumpsite, during an argument over an attempt by one of the parties to molest the other. It reportedly continued today, as one of the parties was said to have overpowered the other, the previous day.

Another version of the account had it that some Hausas attempted to extort money from some Yoruba scavengers around the dumpsite, claiming that the area belongs to them ( Hausa), a claim that led to a verbal confrontation which degenerated into violence.

Hausa Hausa/Yoruba Yoruba

One of the tomatoes sellers who spoke with Vanguard, Tanko Mohammed, said “ I came out this morning ( yesterday) to sell, when some Awawa boys came from nowhere and started destroying our wares. Over 20 baskets of tomatoes were destroyed. While everyone was running, I remained in my shop, to know what was happening. They came with cutlasses and sticks, attacking anyone at sight.
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They said some of our people beat one of theirs. But how is that my business, when the person in question is neither my brother nor sales boy”.

Another Yoruba trader who simply gave her name as Iya Modinat, said, “ these people (Hausa) have taken over the whole place, claiming it is theirs.

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They have dominated the dumpsite, depriving other people space there. They had a confrontation with one Yoruba boy yesterday (Saturday) and before you knew it, all of them came out to fight with the person. His people (Yoruba boys) came to his rescue. Also yesterday, there was a fight at the foodstuff section. But I can not say if that was what caused today’s fight”.

The situation caused a hitch in the free flow of traffic, as motorists were trapped for hours, on both sides of the ever-busy expressway.

But for the intervention of Mobile and conventional policemen, the situation would have got out of hand.

Vanguard

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