One Feared Dead, Scores Injured as Motorcyclists Clash with Transport Unions
By Segun James
At least one person was yesterday killed while many others were injured at Iyana-Iba-Ojo axis of Lagos State following clashes between commercial motorcycle operators popularly known as Okada riders, and members of transport unions, over allegations extortion.
However, the Lagos State Police Command has stated that it has restored normalcy to the “Iyana Iba/Alaba Rago and Ojo areas of the state, where there was a disagreement between the members of the transport unions and commercial motorcyclists units on the increment in tariff today (yesterday).”
THISDAY gathered that trouble started when one of the motorcycle operators, a northerner, was allegedly beaten to death during the protest by the motorcyclists against the new tariff introduced by the unions and alleged constant harassment by the union officials.
Following the alleged killing, reports of the incident soon spread to the Alaba-Rago area, which is directly opposite the Lagos State University (LASU), and the popular Volks Bus Stop, a situation which led to a new round of clashes.
In a statement, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered the immediate deployment of police personnel to the area to maintain law and order, as he also directed the Area Commander of Area E in Festac Town to personally be on ground to monitor the situation and invite the leaders of the affected Okada riders unit for an urgent meeting.
According to Adejobi, “The police command wishes to debunk the rumour that the disagreement, not violence as being peddled in the social media, was between two ethnic groups. Without mincing words, the incident has no ethic colouration whatsoever but a mere conflict between transport unions and their motorcyclists’ units on ticketing and increment in tariff.
“The command, therefore, enjoins members of the public, especially those around the areas, including the students of the Lagos State University (LASU) Ojo, to go about their lawful businesses and studies, as adequate security deployment has been made to fortify security in the axis and by extension, Lagos State in general.”