By Evelyn Usman, Bose Adelaja and Monsuru Olowoopejo
Some parts of the Mile 12 market and environs in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos, yesterday, were tension-soaked following fresh killings by armed hoodlums suspected to be from the Northern part of the country.
Four persons were reported killed in the renewed midnight ethnic clash which started on Wednesday night. Saturday Vanguard gathered that in spite of the curfew imposed in the area, some armed men arrived at the early hours of yesterday through the canal and destroyed some shops in the market. Some homeless persons sleeping in the market and adjourning streets were suspected to have been killed.
A resident, who simply gave his name as Oluwatimileyin, said: “The Hausa men crossed the Agilinti river with canoe and attacked residents of an estate at Isheri North, last night. They even burnt some buildings”.
Irked by the invasion, some armed Yoruba youths converged close to the market in readiness for another clash at about 1pm. The irate youths, who chanted war songs attempted to invade the market and destroy shops belonging to Hausa traders. But they were dispersed by security operatives with tear gas cannisters. Consequently, residents in the affected streets have been fleeing their abodes, following alleged threats by some Hausa youths to set their houses on fire at midnight.
Also, Hausa residents in the area have abandoned their homes for fear of being caught in the ethnic war.
The popular Mile 12 market was Thursday, turned into a theatre of war, during which no fewer than 12 persons were killed and several others injured.
What started like a storm in a tea cup on Tuesday, snowballed into a big fracas two days later. The ongoing crisis which began with a verbal confrontation took a violent twist after a commercial motorcyclist popularly called okada hit a female trader. Consequently, the popular Mile 12 market was shut by the state government, with curfew imposed on four neighbouring streets: Maidan, Agilinti 1, Agilinti 2 and Oniyanrin, close to the market.