By Efe Onodjae
One person was killed while a popular hotel and goods worth millions were razed, weekend, at Oyingbo market area in Ebute-Metta, Lagos during a clash between two rival gang members popularly called agbero. The fighting which threw both traders and motorists into panic was between Otto boys and Willoughby boys.
Reports said the fight was as a result of possession of territory and who gets higher collection from motorcyclists and bus drivers. The quarrel led to the death of one Otto boy.
One of the traders, Chinonoso Agbo, a tomato grinder in the Oyingbo market told Vanguard that the incident happened 2 pm on Saturday during which boys from Otto and Willoughby engaged in the bloody clash armed with dangerous weapons. “Ever since the train track in the Oyingbo terminal bus stop got demolished, Willoughby ‘agberos’ who make their daily income from motorcyclists and bus drivers that park in the bus stop started losing money.
“In other to make more money, they try to extend their hegemony over the territory of their rival gang, Otto boys whose bus stop is just a few minutes’ walk from Willoughby so that they can also be entitled to the money collected by the Otto boys. Their encroachment and the refusal of Otto boys led to fighting between both gangs resulting in the death of one Otto boy, last week Friday.
“The police arrived the scene at about 4 pm yesterday, and restored peace only for the clash to escalate later after they left. it brought about peace for a while and immediately the police left resulting in razing the popular Mainland Hotel around 7 pm. The hotel was filled with thugs when Otto boys wanted to go inside and they resisted.”
A former resident in white-sand area, Oyingbo, Moshood Bakare said, “The fight has been on the ground since last week, Friday when one Otto boy was killed by the Willoughby boys and yesterday happens to be the burial. As a form of vengeance, the Otto boys burned down Mainland Hotel because it’s the denizen of the Willoughby boys after they were stopped from entering the hotel by force,” he stated.
Eyewitness account said the warring gang members were exchanging gunshots with the police when they arrived.