One killed, property destroyed as gangs clash in Mushin

​One killed as Mushin gangs clash over traders’ contributions

One of the suspects arrested by the police

Afeez Hanafi

A hitherto tense Mushin area of Lagos State exploded into a war zone on Monday as two rival gang members engaged one another in a bloody clash.

A load carrier, identified simply as Kayode , was reportedly killed by a stray bullet from the gang members , while many other residents of the area sustained injuries.

A policeman was also said to have been shot in the leg , while about 10 shops were burnt during the clash.

PUNCH Metro learnt that there had been a lingering strife between two rival gangs in the community –

Alamutu and Akala boys – over the sharing of money collected from traders in the Alamutu Market , Idi Oro , Mushin .

It was gathered that Akala boys collected between N200 and N600 from each trader on a daily basis and gave a certain percentage of the total sum to Alamutu boys . The percentage was , however , seen as “ small ” by the latter, leading to the crisis , which reportedly started on Saturday.

Our correspondent learnt that security operatives were drafted to the scene on Sunday to restore peace , but the clash resurfaced shortly after they left .

A resident , Yemi Kasumu , said the gangs shot continuously on Sunday night , adding that people were forced to remain indoors .

He said , “The fight was very serious . They were fighting over the money paid by the traders . It was Akala boys that have been collecting the money . But the Alamutu boys wanted to take over . There had been heavy shootings since Saturday.

“ Military men came yesterday ( Sunday ) to disperse them. They resumed the fight today (Monday ) and people started running helter – skelter . ”

As of 2 pm on Monday , commercial activities in the community had been brought to a halt, with many shops shut . Our correspondent also observed a section of the market littered with goods destroyed during the melee .

Soldiers and some operatives of the Rapid Response Squad , Lagos State Police Command , were on the ground to restore normalcy .

An eyewitness , who spoke on condition of anonymity, explained that the hoodlums cashed in on the crisis to loot shops , burning about 10 stores in the process .

“The fight has been on for three months now and several persons have been killed . The leader of Akala boys ,

Abija, promised to give a part of the money to Alamutu boys . But he didn ’ t keep to the promise.

“ On Saturday, task force officials came to demolish some shops , where cannabis was sold . The Akala boys

thought it was Alamutu boys that instigated the raid . That also worsened the distrust between them. One of the load carriers in the market , Kayode , was killed on Monday and a policeman was shot in the leg , ” he added .

A pharmacy store owner , who did not want his name in print for security reasons, said his shop was burnt because he declined to give the thugs N600 when they came on Monday .

“ This is the third time my shop was burnt in Idi Oro . I have no idea of how to get back on my feet. I have a family to cater to , ” he added .

Our correspondent learnt that about 30 suspects had been arrested for the mayhem.

A police source said , “ Trouble started when youths numbering over 100 invaded Idi Oro Market and demanded money . Youths on Alamutu Street were said to have resisted the move, resulting in a fight.

“ During the fight between the street boys , shops were burnt, while some others were looted by the fighters. The suspects were chased to the inner streets of Idi Oro , where machetes and axes were recovered from them. ”

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer , ASP Olarinde Famous- Cole , said the market had been shut to rid it of criminal elements .

He said , “ The Commissioner of Police , Fatai Owoseni , was on the ground to assess the situation. The market has been shut , while arrest of principal offenders continues. No casualty was recorded. ”
Source: The Punch

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