Four persons have been admitted in hospital while five others were arrested following a clash between Hausa and Yoruba at Ilepo Market area of Lagos State.
The clash, which started since Saturday, allegedly left many people injured. A witness claimed that trouble started after Hausa traders refused to pay market royalty, but the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Bala Elkana, said such claims should be disregarded.
Elkana explained that on August 18, at about 10a.m., Alhaji Adekunle Habib of Ilepo Market reported at Oke-Odo Police Station that there was a misunderstanding between a Hausa scavenger and an “Area Boy” from Yoruba ethnic group.
He said: “The area boy was carrying some goods on his head, when he was mistakenly pushed by the Hausa boy. His goods fell down. An argument ensued between the two parties, leading to exchange of blows. Friends of the two parties joined in solidarity fight and other miscreants took advantage of the moment to steal and loot.
“They blocked the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway. What started as a fight between two miscreants almost snowballed into ethnic crisis, if not for the timely intervention of police teams from Oke-Odo Division.”
The PPRO said the command sent reinforcements from the Operations Department, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Task Force, Tactical Units and Police Mobile Force. Divisions within the Area Command equally sent reinforcements.
He added: “The situation was brought under control and traffic cleared. No death was recorded, but four persons sustained various degrees of injury and are receiving medical attention.
“Five suspects, Kabiru Mohammed, Kabiru Adamu, Bashiru Mohammed, Saliu Madu and Yusuf Amuda, were arrested in connection with the breach of peace. Normalcy has been restored and patrols are ongoing in the affected areas. Suspects will be charged to court,” Elkana added.