By Olasunkanmi Akoni
One unidentified person, on Monday afternoon was feared dead after he was hit by a stray bullet, when men of the Lagos State Taskforce on Enviroment and Special Offences Unit clashed with commercial motorcyclists, popularly called Okada riders at Mile-2 area and Rainbow Bus-stop, along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Lagos.
The incident which led into pandemonium and traffic gridlock in the axis, occured at about 3.35 pm.
As a result of the clash road users experienced difficulties at the Mile 2 axis as Okada riders clashed with men of Lagos task force, who had seized some motorcycles.
The victim, whose state of health could not be ascertained as of press time was said to have been hit by a stray bullet fired by the security personnel who stormed the area to enforce the state ban on Okada operations in d area.
Vehicular movement was disrupted, as the rioters set up bonfires on the Expressway, forcing commuters to trek and other motorists to divert.
Commercial vehicles, headed for Mile 2 had to make detour at a filling station just before Second Rainbow and head back to Oshodi.
Recall that recently, there was chaos at Apple junction, Festac as Okada riders go after Task force for seizing their motorcycles which resulted in bloody clash.
According to a commercial driver, simply identified as Suraju, “Trouble started when the security men started shooting into the air to scare away the rampaging okada riders.
“They also fired tear gas cannisters, in the process some commercial vehicles were damaged in the ensuing melee.
“An okada man who was hit by a stray bullet was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment, while others sustained different degrees of injuries.”
Another eyewitness, simply identified as Abolaji Anthony, said the situation was later brought under control with the intervention of some military personnel to quell the riotous situation.
It was gathered that some suspects were apprehended and unspecified number of motorcycles.
Confirming the incident, Director of Operations, Lags State Traffic Management Authority, Peter Ola, said the sanity had been restored following reinforcement of the military men.
According to Peter, “There was pandemonium in Amuwo Odofin axis as Okada riders clashed with Security Operatives at about 1500hrs today. Monday,
“Security operatives were deployed to the location to restore normalcy.”
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of Taskforce, Mr Raheem Gbadeyanka, said he was not aware of the incident as he was in a marathon meeting earlier, but was unable to get back to our correspondent for confirmation as of press time.