Okada riders, police clash in Lagos

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There was a violent clash, yesterday, between commercial motorcycle riders, popularly known as Okada riders, and policemen at the Ipaja area of Alimoso Local Government Area of Lagos State.

The incident was said to have been hijacked by hoodlums, leading to sporadic shooting which left residents and shop owners to run helter-skelter, while motorists were forced to make U-turns to avoid running into the chaos.     

A resident in the area, who simply identified himself as Emeka, told Daily Sun that the incident started at about 10am, when commercial motorcyclists (okada riders), in their numbers, stormed the Ipaja Police Station, Igbogila, near the Ipaja/Ayobo Local council secretariat, to protest the seizure of their motorcycles by policemen.

“Some angry Okada riders, mainly Aboki (commercial bike operators of Hausa extraction), stormed the police station this morning, around 10am, to retrieve the motorcycles of their colleagues that were impounded by the police. They came with weapons, including cutlasses, iron rods, broken bottles, and the policemen at the station tried to stop them from gaining entry into the station and a fracas ensued. Before we knew it, some hoodlums, popularly known as area boys, joined the Okada riders and invaded the police station, prompting the policemen to start shooting to repel the attackers. 

One person was hit by a bullet and I doubt if he survived.

“Thank God for the arrival of some soldiers and policemen from nearby police divisions who eventually repelled the hoodlums and restored order in the area,” Emeka said.

When Daily Sun got to the Ipaja police station, the officers at the gate said the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) was not on seat to comment on the incident. The officers declined to comment on the incident, insisting that only the DPO could speak on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Police Command spokesman, SP Benjamin Hudenyin, confirmed the incident and assured that normalcy had been restored in the area.

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