8 feared killed as traders, Okada riders clash in Abuja | Dailytrust

8 feared killed as traders, Okada riders clash in Abuja

At least eight persons were reportedly killed during a clash between traders and commercial motorcyclists popularly called okada riders in the Dei-Dei area of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Daily Trust learnt that the incident happened at the popular Dei-Dei Market, which hosts at least five businesses including building materials, timber, tomatoes, and scrapped materials.

Several houses were reportedly razed during the fracas.

A resident of the area, who simply identified himself as Nnorom, told Daily Trust that an accident involving an okada man who was attacked after a woman he was conveying was crushed by a tanker led to the breakdown of law and order.

He said, “At least five persons that I know have been killed in this incident. We have been calling for security intervention to no avail. We are really worried that this crisis is tilting towards ethnic dimension.”

Speaking further, the witness said traders attacked the rider, who they blamed for recklessness which led to a trailer crushing his passenger.

According to him, the other Okada riders moved in to rescue their colleague from the attackers before the situation degenerated.

Another witness said the driver of a trailer which crushed the passenger was attacked and some persons mobilised to defend him, hence the clash.

Surajo Abubakar, another witness, said there were gun shots towards where people were taken refuge.

‘’Four people were killed from the gun shots,’’ he said.

Abubakar said two other persons, among the injured ones, lost their lives at a nearby chemist behind tomatoes market, where they were rushed to.

The third person was a man stranded inside the timber market, who was hit with matchet and died around the junction.

Our reporter also counted at least 10 vehicles set ablaze inside a motor park attached to the timber market.

Meanwhile, normalcy has since been restored in the area by the riot policemen, who were seen providing cover to the stranded traders and other motorists up to around 6 pm when our reporter left the scene.

When contacted, the spokesperson of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command, Josephine Adeh, told one of our correspondents that personnel of the force have been reinforced to put the situation under control.

Adeh, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the force could not ascertain the number of casualties, stressing that the main thing was to “first quench the fire”.

“It is unfortunate that that incident happened. We are there right now. Our men are there trying to put the situation under control.

“I can’t confirm the number of the casualties now. What we are after is how to control the situation now,” she said.

 

By Adam Umar, Idowu, Isamotu & Seun Adeuyi

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