3 Killed as Hausa and Yoruba Communities Clash in Lagos
At least three persons were shot dead on Tuesday during a shootout between hoodlums and customs officers at White Sand community in the Ijora Badia area of Lagos State.
Three others, including a Customs officer, sustained gunshot injuries.
Trouble started on Monday, following a clash between Hausa and Yoruba residents over accusation by the latter that the former had been terrorising the area.
According to the Vanguard, a resident, Tajudeen Shamsudeen, explained that a boy, identified as Ojo was allegedly stabbed to death by some Hausa boys.
Shamsudeen said: “For long, these Hausa boys have been attacking people here. They waylay people, dispose them of cash and belongings. Even rulers of both ethnic groups are aware of the issue.”
According to him, the stabbing of Ojo led to a riot during which dangerous weapons were freely used by both parties. But the fracas was quickly quelled by the police.
After the fracas, the Vanguard reports that demolition of shanties in the troubled community started Tuesday morning. Unconfirmed reports have it that the demolition was carried out on the order of the state government. However, the Hausa party alleged that the demolition was carried out in their places of abode only.
But while the demolition was ongoing, some Customs officers, who residents alleged were invited by the Seriki Hausa, stormed the community in three patrol vehicles at about 2.30p.m. They were alleged to have fired sporadically to scare off some hoodlums, who were roaming the area.
The suspected hoodlums were said to have confronted the Customs men, who allegedly attempted to stop the demolition.
A shootout ensued afterwards, and three people had died after the shooting stopped.
According to the report, the Customs men then fled the scene, heading towards Apapa.
One of those hit by a stray bullet was Azeez Tajudeen. Eyewitnesses say he was first taken to the police station for a police report, before being rushed to an undisclosed hospital.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmus, a Superintendent of Police, however, said only one person died, while two others are recuperating in the hospital.
She said:”The community and the police were on a joint operation of raiding black spots within the community and arresting suspected criminals yesterday.
“In the process, some officers of the Nigerian Customs Service officers, who were with officials of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, had an encounter with some of the hoodlums.
“They fired some shots and three people were hit. As a result, one death was recorded, while two others are receiving treatment in the hospital. Policemen are not involved.”