Commuters plying the Iyana-Iba axis of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway scampered to safety Monday when commercial motorcyclists clashed with the National Union of Road Transport Workers.
For over an hour, the motorcyclists (popularly known as Okada) blocked the expressway with burning tyres while wielding sticks and machetes to attack defiant drivers.
Many of the commuters resorted to trekking while shop owners who had previously opened for business had to shut down and run for safety.
Witnesses said the fracas began after the NURTW increased the levies of Okada riders in the area, a move the commercial motorcyclists kicked against. One motorcyclist was allegedly killed in the ensuing violence.
Some commercial buses, who defied the barricades, had their wind screen broken, while others turned back to take another route, this reporter observed.
Police restore peace
Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the Lagos police spokesperson, in a statement, said the state police commissioner in the state, Hakeem Odumosu, has deployed additional police officers to restore peace at the Iyana-Iba/Alabarago axis.
“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu has ordered for immediate additional police personnel to the area to maintain law and order as he also directed the Area Commander, Area E Festac, to monitor the situation and invite the leaders of the affected Okada riders unit for an urgent meeting,” he said.
Mr Adejobi, who described the “disagreement” as a “mere conflict,” said it ensued as a result of the increment in tariff and ticketing.
He debunked claims making rounds on the social media that the clash was between two ethnic groups.
“The command wishes to debunk the rumour that the disagreement not violence as being peddled in social media, was between some ethnic groups,” he said.
“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 business and studies respectively, as adequate deployment has been done to fortify security in the axis and by extension, in Lagos State in general,” Mr Adejobi said.
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