Despite the decision of the Lagos State government to shut down the popular Mile 12 market as well as declare a curfew in some crisis hotspots, the ethnic clashes in the area continued Friday leaving burnt carcasses of vehicles and buildings in its wake.
A gang of youth purportedly belonging to the Hausa ethnic group marched down deserted streets setting ablaze buildings, despite the deployment of armed police officers.
At least, four buildings, including a bakery, were burnt on Friday, a witness told PREMIUM TIMES.
”We locked ourselves indoors since morning praying that this killings should end,” said the resident who preferred not to be named.
The casualty figure on Friday is still unclear, but, at least, ten people had died by Thursday after crisis erupted in the area the day before.
The Lagos State government had responded on Thursday by shutting down the Mile 12 market and declaring a curfew in four streets in the area.
“The public is hereby assured that we will not shy away from our responsibilities to protect lives and property, and will deal decisively with those criminal elements who fan embers of ethnic strife,” said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
Dolapo Badmus, the Lagos State Police spokesperson, told AFP that 105 people had been arrested in connection with the Mile 12 violence.
On Friday, the government met with stakeholders from Mile 12 market, Agiliti community, Maidan and its environs to find a lasting solution to the violence.
Tunji Bello, the Secretary to the State Government, who presided over the meeting, said all the leaders agreed on the need to co-habit in peace irrespective of their religion, culture or tribes.
Mr. Bello urged the leaders to go back and assure their people to maintain the peace, stating that the State Government would consider the inputs of all those present in arriving at a decision.
“The issue of disagreement is not new in the area and what is uppermost is that everybody should see the next person as his brother,” Mr. Bello added.
Speaking at the meeting, Assistant Commissioner of Police, I.O Edgal who stood in for the Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the Police High Command had secured the Agiliti area and its environs and peace had now returned to the community.
He said the clash and resultant loss of lives were unfortunate and that going by the level of destruction on ground, they were not commensurate with what was reported to have precipitated the clash.
Other participants at the meeting included the Iyaloja of Mile 12 market, Iyabo Ahmed; Baale of Maidan, Baale Ogunjobi; Baale of Agiliti, Jimoh Onikosi; Serikin Nupe, Jibril Magaji; Chairman, Shukura yam, Mohammed Damdana; and Chairman of CDA Central, M.A Showande.