A dispute over who should succeed a dead tri-cyclist leader in the Apapa Iganmu area of Lagos State turned bloody on Monday morning when a gang of hoodlums came out with guns blazing and shot five dead and wounded 12 others.
Allegedly called the Aliwo boys and numbering about 50, they reportedly trooped out of a bridge in Ijora Badia which is their base and blocked the main road, obviously with a mission to stop the newly selected leader of the motorcyclists in the area from ascending “the throne”.
A resident, Feranmi Bolajoko, said the attack on Monday might not be unconnected with a supremacy battle among the motorcyclists in the area, stressing: “This may be the reason why after they shot Lati (Lateef), they also butchered him with cutlasses.
“After killing him, they snapped his corpse and started circulating the picture to show they had finished him off. Lati was supposed to be made the chairman of the tricycle riders after the death of the former leader.”
Murdered alongside Lateef Abdullahi were Ramon Oladejo, a meat seller,Yusuf, Rasheed and Alausa.
Ramon is survived by a widow, Rasheedat, 27, and four kids.
“On Monday morning, the Aliwo boys trooped out from across the bridge where they have their base and blocked the main road.
“They cannot be less than 50. Many of them had guns and opened fire on people on the road. Bullets hit 17 people actually, but only five people died.
“The others were seriously injured and quickly taken to different hospitals where they are receiving treatments.”
Some of the gun-toting Aliwo boys were identified as Labanba, Oye, Songa, Okelemele, Asarailu, Ahmed Okada, Muliko, Last born, Kamoli and Omar.
Three police patrol trucks were seen patrolling the area, two around Sule Lane while the other one was sighted around Akoshile junction, where the shootout reportedly occurred.
Ramon’s widow is at her wits end, unsure of the way forward: “He was going to work that morning when he was caught in the crossfire on our junction.
“I trade in petty things, so he had been the one taking care of the family. I don’t know where to turn to
A member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Apapa Iganmu, Muyiwa Jimoh, said the fracas was a supremacy battle for a park, which had been ongoing for some time.
“We have however moved in security men to safeguard the lives and property of the people. I was also born there and can feel their pain and sorrow,” he disclosed.
A community leader, Chief Amuda Famuyiwa-Ojora, said the traditional ruler of the community, the Ojora of Ijora, Oba Fatai Ojora, had waded into the clashes several times, without any result as some gangs from different parts of the state usually joined in the mayhem.
He said, “The Monday fight was sudden and unexpected. This clash is fuelled by thugs from Oshodi and Mushin. But we will make efforts to intervene again.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the fatal clash, adding that arrests had been made.
“One Lateef Abdullahi, aged 30 years of Akorede area, Ijora was killed during the clash. Twenty-seven suspects were arrested. Investigations are ongoing to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the incident,” he added.