OCTOBER 16TH, 2000

OCTOBER 16,2000

On this day, no fewer than 100 people died in a communal clash in Ajegunle area of Lagos State. The clash was said to have been ignited by the killing of a man by an alleged Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) patrol team at about the previous night. The man was accused of receiving stolen goods and was pursued by the vigilance team to a community in Boundary area of Ajegunle.

Despite pleas from those who claimed to know the man and begged that his life should be spared, the suspect was said to have been slain on the spot. This led to the fury of the community.

The OPC vigilance team was consequently attacked by the community, killing a handful of the militants.

From Boundary, the violence spread to Malu road, as well as Tolu, Trinity and the Marine Beach where houses and property were razed.

Consequently, members of other ethnic groups became affected and were inexorably drawn into the violence, either to protect themselves or avenge the death of other persons dear to them.

Some residents claimed to have counted no fewer than 20 bodies at the Marine Beach, where a fierce engagement lasted about four hours between the warring factions. An equally high number was allegedly counted at Malu road and pathways to Kirikiri.

At Ijora, vehicles of various types were set ablaze, while scores of people were injured.

The popular Ojo-Alaba market was not spared with fierce fighting that lasted till around 3p.m. when a team of policemen arrived to dislodge them.

According to reports, casualties were said to be evenly shared among the three major tribal groups engaged in the fighting.

At least seven petrol tankers were torched by the warring groups at Ijora-Badia. This resulted in a heavy traffic which lasted for hours as motorists had to seek alternative routes to their destinations.

The popular Alaba-Suru Market in Orile on Apapa-Badagry expressway, was not spared. Many shops were looted by some hoodlums who hijacked the situation to perpetrate nefarious activities.

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