By Olakunle Olafioye
After the mid-week bloody clash which claimed the lives of three persons at Oko-Oba area of Lagos State, normalcy appears to have returned to the area with business activities in full swing 48 hours after the chaos which rocked the community.
Hell was let loose on Wednesday, 7 September at Lagos State Abbatoir following a clash between the Hausa and Fulani traders leading to the deaths of three people with several other sustaining varying degrees of injury. Also, no fewer than six vehicles were reportedly damaged during the uproar which equally claimed a number of cattle.
Earlier reports had blamed the crisis on the demolition of some makeshift shops and shanties reportedly owned by the Hausa scrap traders around the railway line by the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC.
The Hausas, it was gathered, had accused the Fulani cattle dealers of being responsible for their losses. The Fulani reportedly played a surreptitious role in demolition of the structures to facilitate easy rail transport of their cattle from the north to the Lagos State Abattoir.
Sunday Sun gathered that the Hausa traders, whose grouse over the demolition exercise had hitherto been suppressed, however vented their anger on their Fulani neigbours after a Hausa woman was reportedly assaulted by a Fulani man.
The Fulani man was reported to have bought food from the Hausa food vendor but refused to pay for the food. The development led to an argument during which the food vendor was allegedly assaulted by the Fulani man.
Hausa youths in the area were said to have capitalized on the misunderstanding to vent their bottled up animosity against the Fulani, which led to a free-for-all during which three persons were allegedly killed.
Another version however claimed that the clash was caused by alleged robbery of some Hausa men by miscreants suspected to be Fulani in a hotel.
The incident was said to have been reported to the leadership of the Fulani, which was accused of not giving the matter the necessary attention to the disappointment of the Hausa community. Enraged by this, Hausa youths were said to have stormed the palace of Seriki Fulani, Bello Damobapa on Tuesday night vandalising three Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs).
Provoked by the attack on their leader, some armed Fulani youths were said to have stormed the railway lines where Hausa scraps collectors operate on Wednesday on reprisal.
But giving further insight into the main cause of the mayhem, a Hausa leader in Lagos State and National Chairman, Arewa United Forum, Alhaji Ado Shuaibu Dansudu said preliminary investigation into the mayhem showed that weak leadership occasioned by internal wrangling and infightings within the community was responsible for the crises.
According to Dansudu, “the abattoir Hausa/Fulani leadership is weak because there are so many factions within the community. The Hausa community on one hand has several factions within it. The Fulani on the other hand also have different factions and factional leaders, when they are supposed to be under one umbrella.
“This lack of cohesion and unity among these factions gave rise to jealousy, suspicion and distrust within the community. And since the community is factionalized there is no way the community will be able to speak in one voice,” he said.
Dansudu who disclosed that the Fulani man who reportedly sparked the crisis was not a member of the community said that leaders of Hausa/Fulani communities in the state had scheduled an emergency meeting where a lasting solution would be proffered to the lingering crisis within the community.
“It is unfortunate that our people still allow such primordial sentiment to cause crisis in their midst. There shouldn’t be discrimination of any sort. Somebody who claims to be Hausa may have Fulani blood flowing in his veins because if your father is a Hausa man and your mother a Fulani and you gang up to kill a Fulani you have succeeded in killing your own brother.
“Nigerians in general, be it Yoruba, Hausa or Ibo, need not allow sentiments such as ethnicity, religious or political affiliation to cause friction among us. If there is anytime we need to overlook those things that divide us and focus more on things that unite us, it is now.” Dansudu sermonised
Potholes resurface on Lagos roads
■ We’ve started rehabilitating them –LSPWC
By Anderline Alaoma
in keeping with its profile as a mini-Nigeria, the emerging Lagos mega-city, with its huge population of over 17 million people naturally contends with pressure on infrastructural facilities such as roads.
Right from the era of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed as governor of the Centre of Excellence, to the past administration of Raji Babatunde Fashola to now that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is in the saddle, the Lagos State government has always accorded priority to easy mobility within the state by constructing roads.
To ensure that the investments made in road construction do not waste and thereby put the residents of the metropolis in discomfort as per motoring, it created the Lagos State Public Works Corporation, LSPWC, the agency charged with the responsibility of constructing inner and feeder roads in the state. It is to the credit of the state and the leadership of the agency that several parts of Lagos metropolis have been linked up with the major roads that traverse the state through the construction of vital asphalted feeder roads.
However, residents have started to observe that potholes are beginning to resurface and pock mark some of the roads, a fact attributable to the weather situation in the tropics and the heavy vehicular traffic on the roads. A ride through some of the roads in Surulere, Ogba, Ifako- Ijaye, Amuwo Odofin, Ilupeju, and some other parts of the state, was somewhat unpleasant as potholes took away the pleasure once experienced by motorists driving on the roads when they were newly constructed. That in itself calls to mind the great need for the LSPWC to regularly maintain the roads which the government built to make life in Lagos meaningful.
When Sunday Sun reporter took this concern to the head office of the LSPWC, it was learnt that the agency had already become aware of the plight of Lagosians in this regard and had activated a remedial programme to return the roads to their previous pot-free state. The agency said that it had commenced rehabilitation works on roads in some parts of the state.
In a brief chat in his office, the Public Affairs Officer of the corporation, Yomi Oladapo, told Sunday Sun: “The corporation is presently working on major roads that have been taken over by potholes. Rehabilitation work is ongoing along the old Lagos-Abeokuta road, precisely the section from Abbatoir to Abule-Egba up to Ifako-Ijaye; then you have Tinubu Street and Oyewole Street in Illupeju. Subsequently work will be done on the Oando-OPIC axis along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Ojo road in Amuwo Odofin area.
“Also, construction work is underway in areas like Alhaji Masha road, and Ikate, both in Surulere, LASUTH road network, Ikeja, Coker road in Ilupeju, Ikorodu road on the Ketu-Mile 12 axis, inward Ojota, Osolo Way, Asa Afariogun Street and Lateef Salami Street in Oshodi-Isolo Local Council Development Area.
“Clearly, the agency is conversant with the situation and the effects of rains on the roads in the state. We must all recognise that bad weather often times slows down the pace of work on site. But immediately the rains subside we will speed up work on the various sites. The goal of the Ambode administration is that Lagosians must enjoy pothole-free roads. That is our promise and we are already delivering on it.”