…24 suspects arrested
..Residents lament over police overzealousness
Three persons were feared dead on Monday, following a violent clash between policemen, street urchins, called “Area Boys,” and commercial motorcycle and tricycle operators, popularly called “Okada, Keke NAPEP,” respectively, in Ijora area of Apapa Local Government Area, during s protest against the state government ban on their activities.
Recall that the state government had last week Monday, announced plans to commence total enforcement of Reform Traffic Law of 2018 on activities of the operators on restricted routes and bridges across 15 Local Government Areas of the state starting from February 1st.
Meanwhile, police said 24 suspects were arrested in connection with the public disorder.
Irate operators had in the early hours disrupted normal activities as they barricaded major roads in Ijora Badia, area of Apapa in protest.
During the protest, which started around 7.21a.m, the protesters blocked the road with bonfire, thereby, obstructing free flow of traffic.
However, trouble started when the police officers deployed to restore order in an attempt to stop the unruly protesters from taking over the road.
iBrandTV gathered that there was an unconfirmed casualty of three persons which led to the destruction of cars and properties by hoodlums who took advantage of the clash to unleash mayhem.
During the face off, the Okada riders, who had earlier poised for war with the state government, were said to have engaged the police in a cross fire as passers-by ran in different directions.
Narrating how he narrowly escaped the crossfire, a motorist, who simply, identified himself as Mr. Uche, said motorists had to retreat and look for alternative routes in and out of Apapa as the road leading out of Apapa towards Nigerian Breweries road was fully blocked.
According to eyewitness, who identified himself as Musa, he saw three persons almost lifeless being taken away in police van to unknown hospitals for attention.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Police Command said it has arrested 24 suspects for being involved in public disorder.
The suspects were arrested at about 07:45am after police received a distress call that some hoodlums in large number armed with cutlasses, suspected to be okada riders and thugs blocked some major roads around Ijora Oloye, Amusu, Ijora 7up, Ijora under bridge, Sifa junction and Gaskiya gangare area all within Ijora Badia Division.
Confirming the arrest, the spokesperson Lagos State Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, Bala Elkana, said the hoodlums caused major obstructions on the roads.
He said, ” On February 3, 2020 at about 7.45am, the command received a distress call that some hoodlums in large number armed with cutlasses, suspected to be okada riders and thugs blocked some major roads around Ijora Oloye, Amusu, Ijora 7up, Ijora under bridge, Sifa junction and Gaskiya gangare area, all within Ijora Badia Division. The hoodlums caused major obstructions on the roads, burning tyres, looting and stealing from unsuspecting road users.
“Police Officers from Ijora Badia, Area B Command and Special Strike Force on Social Miscreants were promptly deployed to the scenes. The situation was brought under control. The obstructions were cleared for free flow of traffic. No life was lost. Investigation is ongoing, the suspects will be charged to Court.”