By Christopher Oji, Lagos
There was tension at Badagry and its environs in Lagos following a bloody clash between cow herders and commercial bus drivers Monday morning.
The clash reportedly erupted over the killing of a commercial bus driver by a group of herders who claimed that one of their cows was knocked down by the driver at Agemowo on the Mile 2 Badagry expressway.
The police said the herders felt that the deceased allegedly killed their cow intentionally, causing them to retaliate.
It was learnt that the herders went after the fleeing driver, caught up with him at Agemowo and descended on him.
They were said to have dragged him down while his conductor fled the scene. They gave him the beating of his life and later stabbed him severally in the stomach.
The incident attracted the sympathy of other road users who chased the herders until they caught up with one of them at Muwo.
Some young men took to the streets to protest the killing and the presence of armed men in their community.
A driver, Tijani Saliu, said the deceased, a commercial bus driver was heading towards Badagry when he, unfortunately, ran over two cows.
He said the cows were trying to cross the road when the driver, who was on top speed ran over the cows, killing them on the spot.
“Some herders who were tending to the cows grabbed hold of the driver and stabbed him severally in the stomach.
“They later slit the deceased throat with a knife. The bus conductor took to his heel. The body of the driver was left in the middle of the road,” he said.
Another witness, Sule Akinteju, said those who witnessed the killing of the driver went after the herders.
“They caught up with one of the herders. But the police arrived at the scene and rescued him from the hands of the angry mob” he said.
Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, who confirmed the incident, however, said one person died in the incident.
Hundeyin said trouble started when a commercial vehicle ran into two cows on Monday morning at Agemowo, Badagry, killing one of the cows.
He said two cattle herders attacked the vehicle conductor, resulting in his death.
“Angry residents blocked the highway in protest of the killing. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Morogbo Division, assisted by some soldiers from 243 Recce Battalion, Badagry successfully cleared the obstruction.
“Normalcy has since returned to the area. It is entirely false that the conductor was turned back when he sought refuge in the police station. He did not make it off the accident scene, let alone reach the station” he said.
Hundeyin said two of the herders have been arrested, while an investigation is ongoing.