Seven feared dead as okada riders clash in Ogun

Nigeria police station. Photo/ AFP

No fewer than seven motorcyclists were reportedly killed in a clash among commercial motorcyclists in Ibese in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State.

The clash, which started on Monday, snowballed into an ethnic crisis between the Hausas and the Yorubas on Tuesday, leaving about 7 people dead and about 12 motorcycles burnt.

It was gathered that the motorcyclists operating at Dangote Cement Factory junction at Ibese were at loggerheads with the union leaders over a hike in ticket fees from N600 to N800.

A community leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some soldiers have been mobilised to restore peace on Monday, but fighting resumed on Tuesday.

The source said the clash escalated on Tuesday, when soldiers allegedly shot at aggrieved indigenes, killing one, while another was hospitalised with life-threatening injuries.

“The crisis, which started on Monday over tickets snowballed into an ethnic clash between Yoruba and Hausa okada riders,” the source said.

“More than twelve motorcycles belonging to both Yoruba and Hausa were burnt. Two persons died on Monday. Some military men were mobilized to restore sanity, but this morning (Tuesday), the clash continued.

“Some indigenes intercepted some Dangote goods, burnt them and barricaded the road with vehicles to stop the movement of vehicles in the area. Another set of soldiers came on Tuesday morning to restore peace, but while moving around, there was a clash with the aggrieved indigenes.

“We learnt that there was shooting by the soldiers. One person died instantly, while the second person was rushed to the hospital,” the source said.

He, however, called on the state government to look into the issue of the vacant monarch of the community, saying that the lack of leadership in the community is having a negative toll on the peace and economic development of the community.

The police spokesman in Ogun State DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi confirmed the incident. He, however, could not confirm the number of casualties.

“The issue is currently under control. It was a minor struggle that had snowballed into a serious crisis,” Oyeyemi said.

“They said the unions increased their ticket fee from N600 to N800 and that was how the crisis started. But how it then turned into the Hausa and Yoruba crisis is what I don’t know.

“But, we are on top of the matter. The situation has been brought under control. Our men are still there as we speak.”