No fewer than three persons were killed and about 20 people reportedly sustained varying degrees of injury on Wednesday when men said to be of Hausa and Fulani origins clashed in the Oko Oba Abattoir area of Lagos State.
It was gathered that the clash between scrap dealers and cattle sellers. Sources said the scrap dealers, who are mostly Hausa, accused the head of the Fulani clan in the area of backing officials of the Nigeria Railway Corporation in the demolition of the shanties where they carried out their business.
The crisis reportedly erupted after a Hausa woman was assaulted by a Fulani man, who had bought food from her and refused to pay.
The Hausas armed with axes, machetes, clubs and other dangerous weapons were said to have stormed the Oko Oba Abattoir at about 2am on Wednesday, where they attacked the Fulanis who were already fast asleep.
By 5am, the Hausas launched a reprisal and injured many of the Fulani and destroyed their property. They were reported to have vandalised and looted the market, taking with them money, telephone sets and other valuables.
Over 20 of the cattle rearers were said to have been injured and six vehicles belonging to the executives of the cattle rearers association were damaged by the scrap dealers.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the clash.
“The report we have indicated that the crisis erupted as a result of a young Hausa girl beaten up by a Fulani man.
“The action did not go down well with the Hausa men, which led them to seek revenge. This later degenerated to a serious fight and subsequent destruction of property.
“The command’s operatives from Area G, RRS and Abattoir division were moved in to quell the crisis and normalcy has been returned to the area.”
She however, added that the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, had ordered a peace parley between the two groups, and that four suspects have been arrested by the police.