Residents protest against neglect, military role as Ambode visits Mile 12
Market chairman says closure of Mile 12 Market increasing losses
As the tense security situation in Mile 12 recedes following the bloody clash in the area last Thursday, allegations are trailing the role of military personnel drafted to the area to ensure peace between the Hausa and Yoruba community.
Some residents have accused security operatives of taking sides with a section of the community to the detriment of the other settlers.
According to a resident, Olawoyin Adebayo, during the renewed attacks on Friday, “the Hausa residents who attacked us were escorted by the police. And they went ahead to destroy more property. We now live under the constant fear of attack by the Hausas,” he said.
Refuting the claims, a resident of Agiliti Street in Mile 12, Mr. Danjuma Jubril, said it was not true that they were aided by policemen to wreak havoc at the weekend.
According to him, they had on Friday pleaded with the police authorities to provide adequate security for the burial of their people killed in the clash on Thursday. “The tense security in the area was not conducive for proper interment of the dead.
“The burial ground we use is at Agiliti. Some of the corpses were inside the Agiliti River and we could not bury or retrieve the bodies because of the security situation. So, we had to send message to the DPO in charge of this area that we needed police escort to bury them. That is what is being misinterpreted to mean that police are on our side.”
Jubril, who said he was born at Mile 12 more than 30 years ago, blamed the deadly clash on hoodlums extorting money from commercial motorcyclists and trucks carrying food items.
Meanwhile, residents of Agiliti yesterday protested the state government’s handling of the ethnic crisis, describing it as least impressive. While it was alleged that the state government had taken sides with the Hausa community, refusal of governor Akinwunmi Ambode to address the resident during a visit yesterday further angered the people.
The Yoruba-speaking residents, who had lost relatives, houses and cars among other properties to the mayhem, expressed their displeasure as the visitors left them without a word.
One of the residents, Biliaminu Ajilo, said that they were quite disappointed with the visit. His words: “We were all happy to hear this afternoon that the governor was coming to see what Hausas have done to us. It has been three days now and we are just hearing from him. We expected that he would go into the street to see houses and cars that were burnt down. But very unfortunate that he just drove past and left. It is just not fair,” Ajilo said.
Public relations officer of the Agiliti community, Folajimi Soyemi, said the people were angry, which was made worse by the rumour that the governor had chosen to address the Hausas at the Mile 12 market.
Ambode, in company of State Executive Council members had gone for a first-hand assessment of the damages. The governor, however, did not go to adjourning streets that were the main battlegrounds of the crisis and still dotted by massive destruction.
It was gathered that the governor’s visit was restricted for reasons not unconnected with security concerns. The governor upon his return to the State House quickly went into a Security Council meeting.
Notwithstanding the market closure, it was observed that buying and selling freely continue within the market.
However, chairman of the Mile-12 Market, Alhaji Haruna Muhammed, said the partial closure of the market has added to the traders’ losses, affecting mostly those selling perishable foodstuffs and all kinds of fruits. “We have 25 trucks with perishable foodstuffs in them, yet to be offloaded. The traders are only waiting for government’s directive.
“But for those that brought in tomatoes, they are at a loss because the tomatoes had spent some days in the truck before it got to Lagos. There are many more trucks waiting in Ibafo in Ogun State until this issue is resolved,” he said.
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