MAYHEM: 5 Killed, 30 Vehicles Damaged, As Transport Union Members Clash In Lagos (Photos)
Five people were feared killed while more than 30 vehicles were either burnt or damaged yesterday when transport union members clashed at Oshodi in Lagos. Two factions of the National Union of Transport Workers (NURTW), according to investigation, were engaged in supremacy battle.
Witnesses said the fight between the two factions, which started on Tuesday and continued yesterday, was over who should be in charge of Mosafejo Saudi Motor Park. The police, however, said that one person was killed in the fracas, while nine persons had been arrested. The rampaging union members grounded commercial activities at Oshodi.
Shops were quickly shutdown, commercial bus riders fled while parked vehicles were destroyed. A faction of the warring parties stormed the motor park about 1:30am yesterday and set parked buses on fire. The hoodlums also manhandled traders and passersby till about 10am.
A member of the NURTW, who craved anonymity, explained that two factions were loyal to different chairmen at the motor park, adding that they had been a lingering crisis which came to a head last Thursday. The factions renewed the fight on Tuesday which spread till yesterday.
He said: “After Thursday’s incident, the various branch chairmen at the motor park were invited by the state NURTW Chairman, Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, to reach an amicable resolution.”
The chairmen were made to sign an undertaking, promising there would be no longer crisis at both motor parks. He added: “I was surprised to receive a phone call that the same thugs who invaded the park last Thursday came to burn and destroy shops and vehicles parked there in the middle of the night.
I heard that they started shooting sporadically when they invaded the motor park. I also heard that some traders were hit by stray bullets.”
A trader, who gave her name simply as Remilekun, said she noticed that on Tuesday after some of the thugs returned from a political campaign, they started shouting that there would be war. She said: “I was at home when someone called me this morning that my shop had been burnt by some of the hoodlums.
When I rushed to the market, I found that all my new stock and my refrigerator had been burnt to ashes. Some of my neighbours’ shops were also affected.
“We are tired of these hoodlums at Oshodi, especially those residing under the bridge where they sell Indian hemp. We want the Lagos State Government to come to our rescue.”
Another trader, Mr Akinbode Taiwo, said that the crisis had been on since last Thursday when those who were selling Indian hemp were chased away from under the bridge by the police. He said: “After the policemen chased the hoodlums away, we did not know they would come back.
“To our surprise, we just saw them yesterday when they were coming from a political campaign. They came into the park and started threatening everybody.
This morning they came into the motor park after everybody had left and set shops on fire. Policemen alone cannot chase these boys away. Police need the support of the Army.”
More photos below….
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