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Gunshots as traders, hoodlums clash in Lagos

There was chaos in the Alaba International Market, Lagos, on Wednesday as traders reportedly clashed with hoodlums demanding levies from them. It was learnt that…

There was chaos in the Alaba International Market, Lagos, on Wednesday as traders reportedly clashed with hoodlums demanding levies from them.

It was learnt that the violence broke out in the morning when the hoodlums approached the traders to collect levies as usual.

The traders, who always complain of what they describe as illegal tax, were said to have resisted the payment, thereby leading to the clash.

In a video of the clash seen by our correspondent, there was commotion as some persons brandished weapons.

Shops were also shut, while people took cover to avoid being caught up in the violence.

A trader at the market, identified simply as Neky, wrote on Twitter that the fight was between thugs, popularly known as agbero, around the market and traders.

He said, “Agbero versus traders in Alaba ..When will you guys stop extortion of the masses in Lagos?”

One Susan Nnamani said her neighbour, who fled from the market, reported gunshots.

“(My) neighbour that just came back from Alaba said there were stray bullets and some people died. Not sure though. But this agbero constant fight everywhere needs to stop,” she stated.

An eyewitness, Lawrence, also said, “Na agbero. I just run come back, later I will go and carry my car. Agbero una own too much for Alaba oh.”

“Illegal extortion in the name of owo da (pay money) should stop in Lagos to meet up to the standards that the government are aiming at….We are talking about a mega city.@jidesanwoolu  @rrslagos767  @followlasg,” Ofor Buikem wrote.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, said normalcy had been restored to the market, but did not state whether casualties were recorded.

He said, “Alaba International Market is calm. Normalcy has been restored. @rrslagos767 and men of Ojo Division are on ground, under the supervision of Area Commander Festac, ACP Igbafe Afegbai. There is no cause for alarm as monitoring continues.”

Meanwhile, a trader, Kehinde Omoniru  lamented that the police arrived late at the market to quel the violence.

He said, “I can confidently confirm their presence in the market. But oga Ben, your men no try at all, since morning that the market has been under fire with gunshots and rain of broken bottles, they just came around 13:43hr.”

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