Tension has enveloped Lagos Island following a renewed clash between Onola and Okepopo boys at weekend, which allegedly left at least eight youths killed.
Witnesses said many people were also injured in the attack. Traders lost their wares to the clash, as some hoodlums were said to have seized the opportunity to break and enter several shops, carting away wares.
A witness said: “The Okepopo boys invaded Onola area on Friday night after police granted bail to their point man known as ‘Falapa.’ It was during the attack that the Okepopo boys shot and inflicted machete cuts on a young lad, sleeping inside a tricycle. The tricycle was parked in front of Iga Faji. The lad was stabbed to death, while many people sustained injuries.”
Angry at the sudden attack and eventual death of the sleeping boy, Onola youths embarked on a reprisal, killing four youths belonging to Okepopo.
The Okepopo boys returned for another attack on Sunday night and met an already prepared and re-enforced Onola youths. The clash was bloody, leading to the death of another youth and injury of several. The dead youth was said to belong to Okepopo.
Some traders whose shops were burgled allegedly joined forces with Onola youths to confront the Okepopo boys.
Efforts by the police teams from Area ‘A’ Command, Adeniji Adele, Jankara and Lion Building stations to end the constant mayhem proved abortive as the youth brandished weapons.
“When police teams patrolled the areas and return to bases, the Okepopo boys launched another attack and then disappeared,” another witness said.
The attack and counter-attack reduced by Tuesday night, as some military personnel teamed up with the police to patrol the areas. Some arrests were said to have been made.
Some of the affected areas are Itafaji, Isale-Gangan, Princess, Anikantamo, Evans, Massey, Okepopo, Koilo, Atiko and other adjacent streets.
The soldiers assemble at Oshodi/Tokunbo junction on the Lagos Island but usually go round with police in mufti with the aim of making more arrests.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), CSP Chike Oti, said it is not true that eight people were killed on the Island at the weekend.
He said: “Such number of casualties will not be recorded in a place as sophisticated as Lagos and be swept under the carpet. What happened was that a group of boys engaged themselves in a free for all. Immediately, a team of policemen led by the Area Commander in-charge of Area A, ACP Mohammed Danladi, mobilised to the scene and brought the situation under control.”
Oti, however, said the police recovered the body of a yet-to-be-identified young man who died from the injuries inflicted on him during the fight.
He added: “The body was recovered and taken to the mortuary for preservation and autopsy. So far, the police have arrested 20 persons in connection with the incident.”