It took a combined effort of police and soldiers to forestall deadly clash yesterday at Ladipo Auto Spare Parts market when traders went on rampage to protest the death of one of their colleagues.
Though no lives was lost, the fragile peace that was brokered last week between the traders and some hoodlums claiming to seize ownership of a section of the market, was shattered as the traders gathered in solidarity to protest against the death of one of their own who was brutalised during a renewed clash with hoodlums on Tuesday.
One of the traders, Anene Otazi, was shot on Tuesday and was rushed to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, where doctors battled to remove pellets from his body and was for days in critical condition before he gave up the ghost early Thursday.
The news of Otazi’s death sparked-off instant anger from his colleagues, who mobilised themselves and began to protest round the market chanting war songs.
Chairman of Odo Aladura Traders’ Union in Ladipo, Mr Chukwuma Uroko, blamed the hoodlums for the constant attacks on traders. Uroko said many traders were attacked with machetes and suffered gunshot wounds.
He said the leader of the thugs brought caterpillars for the exercise and ordered the drivers to demolish the structures with traders’ goods inside the shops.
“When the traders could not bear the attacks and intimidation, we resisted and chased them away after they had inflicted injuries on many of the traders.”
Uroko appealed to both the Mushin Local Council and the state government to call the hoodlums to order as they go about boasting that government was behind them and using it to harass and intimidate traders.