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Three shot dead in Lagos task force clash with area boys

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PCRC, police hold anti-drug, cultism campaign

Three commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as Okada riders, were reportedly shot dead in a clash between officers of Lagos State task force and Oju-Irin boys in Oshodi.Spokesman of the task force, Taofeek Adebayo, told The Guardian that he was aware of the incident. He, however, claimed that men of the task force were not involved in the clash, but eyewitnesses insisted that the three unidentified victims were hit by stray bullets fired by the security agents who intended scaring off the area boys.

It was gathered that a member of the Oju-Irin boys had a bet on Nigeria’s final Group D match against Argentina on Tuesday with a member of the task force. Nigeria, against the wish of the task force officer, lost the match and missed qualification to the round of 16 knockout stages of the competition.Both parties were said to be on their way to the bus stop in Oshodi after the match when the officer allegedly refused to hand over his bet. This reportedly provoked the area boys, who stabbed the officer in the face with a broken bottle.

At dawn the day after, the officer alongside his other colleagues returned to the Cappa base of the area boys on a mission to arrest the man who had earlier stabbed the officer. This led to a tussle between them. While the melee continued, the officers opted to shoot into the air, which led to stray bullets hitting three okada riders.

An eyewitness, Tobi, told The Guardian that the incident caused unrest in the place and scared off traders. “I got here this morning and heard one of the Oju-Irin boys had a clash with a task force officer after they both placed bet on Nigeria vs Argentina match, which did not go the officer’s way. But he refused to release the money, and then the area boy stabbed him.

“The matter has gone beyond how minor we thought it was. The officer came here with his colleagues and as they were trying to scare the boys away, they shot stray bullets that hit and killed three Okada riders.

Efforts to speak to members of Okada riders’ association on the matter proved abortive, as they all insist not to speak for fear of being identified.In another development, poised to holistically address the destructive menace of cultism, drug abuse and gang wars, especially in schools, the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) in partnership with the Nigeria Policing Program, a British government funded development initiative, has organised a one day schools’ based anti-drug and cultism campaign.

Held at Oriwu College, Ikorodu, over pupils from 30 schools gathered to learn the dangers and consequences of drug abuse and cultism.Chairman PCRC, Lagos State, Oba Momodu Afolabi, the Aladi Onijanikin of Ijanikin Kingdom, said the destructive tendencies inherent in drug abuse and cultism especially among youths cannot be overemphasized as it can destroy the basic fabric of the society.According to him, with the theme, ‘Say no to cultism and drugs,’ the event was a call to students, teachers, school administrators, parents and stakeholders to increase efforts geared towards the extermination of the deadly monsters in the society.


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Taofeek Adebayo
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