• Says police probe into the crisis can’t be trusted

By Gboyega Akinsanmi

The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) yesterday asked the Lagos State Government to immediately constitute a judicial commission of inquiry into the Mile 12 crisis, which undermined public order in the for four consecutive days.
The ARG, a pan-Yoruba socio-political and economic organisation, noted that the constitution of the commission became imperative because the state government “cannot rely solely of police investigation.”

The group canvassed the position in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kunle Famoriyo yesterday, noting that the crisis should be objectively investigated and those indicted in the process be prosecuted.
The clash, which principally erupted between Hausa and Yoruba at Mile 12 market on March 2, reportedly claimed no fewer than five persons and several vehicles vandalised as a result of the crisis.
While it took the intervention of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) to quell the crisis, the state government had consequently shut the market and imposed curfew on four streets in the area due to the crisis.

Also, the state House of Assembly had called on the state government to relocate the Mile 12 market and Owode Onirin Markets to another location after conducting necessary feasibility studies and when accompanying infrastructures must have been provided.
But in its statement yesterday, the ARG urged the state government “not to rely solely on police investigation of the crisis because its local inquiries into the incident alleged that the police’s approach lacked objectivity and was overtly biased.”
“In our view therefore, only a judicial enquiry can produce the kind of recommendations and shift-change that will engender peaceful and sustainable cohabitation in that area of the state.”

The group explained that it was aware of several attempts to placate the gory clash, which claimed five lives, through conciliatory approaches aimed at getting the parties to move on.
The group added that Nigeria’s history “is replete with several of such move-on and that is why such calamities are recurring. A different approach is needed so that we stop planting evil seeds that will germinate into abominable trees in the nearest future.”
It therefore called on the state government to constitute a judicial panel, made up of credible citizens to investigate the immediate and remote causes of this mayhem.
It noted that the state’s regulatory policy on Okada as a means of commercial transportation is not implementable, thereby calling for a total ban of motorcycle as a means of transportation in the state.”

Apart from the safety and security threats that okada pose to our society, the group said it was also luring youths away from their vocations “to the effect that largely all artisanal works in Southwest are now being carried out by economic migrants from neighbouring countries.”