Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has ordered the closure of the popular Mile 12 Market and imposed curfew on four streets in the area as a result the mayhem that engulfed the area Thursday.
Members of the Hausa and Yoruba community in the area had clashed, leading to the burning of houses and churches on Thursday.
Briefing newsmen on the matter at the State House, Ikeja, Ambode ordered the closure of Mile 12 Market and imposed restriction of movement on four streets- Oniyanrin, Maidan, Agiliti 1 and and Agiliti 2 streets.
“In order to further restore calm in the community, I have ordered that the Mile 12 market be temporarily shut and urge traders and other stakeholders to eschew violence and be law abiding. Furthermore, I have ordered temporary restriction of movement in four streets-Oniyanrin, Maidan, Agiliti 1 and Agiliti 2 streets,” he said.
The governor admitted that there was a dispute between members of Mile 12 community in kosofe Local Government, saying that the police and other security officials were called in to manage the situation.
“After their intervention, the dispute appeared to have subsided. Today, I have just been informed that some hoodlums and criminal elements have exploited that dispute to cause a breakdown of law and order in the community. This type of clash does occur from time to time in a multi-ethnic city like Lagos. And the government has always responded appropriately.
“The public is thereby assured that we will not shy away from our responsibilities to protect life and property in the state. we will deal decisively with those criminal elements involved in the clash. I have been assured by the commissioner of police and other security agencies at the scene that the situation has been brought under control.
“I want to assure residents of Lagos State that the state is home to every ethnic group. No one should give this clash any ethnic colouration. Every law abiding citizen should go about their businesses,” he said.
Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni said the the restriction would be lifted when normalcy had returned completely, saying that he was at the scene of the clash and that there was no death recorded.
“I was there personally, I did not witness anyone killed. The situation is calm. The people that were agitating have been cleared off the road. Substantial arrest had been made. We will ensure that everyone involved in the clash would be arrested and prosecuted.
“There was no fire in the market. We are still auditing but I know that we have made substantial arrest; which is well over 50 persons. As at the time I left the scene, there was no fire in the market. But it was within Agiliti where houses were burnt by miscreants. Those miscreants have been cleared off the road,” he stated.
A massive riot broke out in Mile 12 area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Thursday as Hausa and Yoruba communities in the area clashed.
Eye witnesses said houses and two churches were set ablaze during the riot, while men of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, were drafted to the area to restore normalcy.
People are said to be fleeing their homes as houses were being set ablaze by the rioters.
A resident of the area said he fled the area to Berger as the crisis escalated.
The resident, who craved annonymity said crisis started when an Hausa man who rides a commercial motorcycle also known as okada, rode against traffic and hit another Yoruba okada rider.
In the hot exchange that followed, it was gathered that the Hausa okada rider brought out a dagger and stabbed the Yoruba man.
Thereafter, Hausas were said to have mobilised and attacked the Yoruba community leading to the crisis.
Soldiers were drafted to the area to prevent the crisis from escalating.
There was traffic gridlock in the area as many people were stranded.
Unconfirmed report had it that three people were feared dead in the mayhem.