BY Deji Lambo
There was pandemonium in the Igboolomu area of the Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area of Lagos State when some Hausa and Yoruba youths clashed and burgled shops belonging to traders in the area.
During the clash, which created panic in the community, it was learnt that no fewer than 15 shops were burnt down.
Our correspondent gathered that the crisis started on Monday, but elders in the community quickly mediated between the Hausa and Yoruba youths to douse the growing tension.
It was gathered on Thursday that two Yoruba boys were on their way to a destination when some Hausa boys allegedly attacked them with machetes on Ola Imam Street, Igboolomu, and inflicted injures on them.
A resident, Adebayo Obatungashe, said residents had been moving out of the community because of the fear of a reprisal, adding that the police had been patrolling the area to restore normalcy.
He said, “The fight between the Hausa and Yoruba boys started about three days ago, but the elders in the community mediated and the tension subsided. Today (Thursday), we learnt that two Yoruba boys were on a motorcycle when the Hausa boys attacked them with machetes.
“So, the boys, who were soaked in blood, went back to report the assault to the elders and the Hausa boys regrouped, broke into the shop of someone, who sells beer, and started throwing bottles at the Yoruba boys.
“So, the Yoruba boys retaliated and that was how the clash started. Before we knew what was going on, the clash had got out of hand and a lot of damage was done and about 15 shops were burnt. As I speak with you, people are parking out of the community because of the fear of reprisal.”
The Secretary to the Olomu Family, Fatai Olomu, said, “When the Yoruba and Hausa boys were fighting, we separated them and approached their Seriki and pleaded with him that we didn’t want any trouble in the community.
Footage made available to our correspondent showed some Yoruba boys in large number demanding that the Hausa should leave the community. Shops were also seen being consumed by fire.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said, “It was a minor conflict between the two groups, but the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has intervened in the matter and has called the leaders of the two sides for an amicable settlement.
“Ethnic colouration should not be attached to it; it was just a minor issue and the young men involved were mostly motorcyclists. But we are on top of the situation and normalcy has been restored in the community.”