A schoolgirl was hit by a stray bullet at Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, on Wednesday during a violent clash between a mob protesting the ban on ‘okada’ (commercial motorcyclists) in certain areas and security operatives of the Lagos State Task Force.
The girl, who is yet to be identified, was promptly taken to Peak Health Hospital where she was stabilised before she was referred to the General Hospital, Orile Agege for treatment, a medical officer at the former told PREMIUM TIMES.
The violence, which broke out on Wednesday morning, was as a result of a restriction placed on the operations of motorcycles and tricycles by the state government. Videos circulated on social media revealed how people were scampering for safety as the clash erupted.
The protesters also shattered glasses of vehicles and lit bonfires on the highway, disrupting movement and business activities. Vehicles belonging to the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) were also burnt by the protesters.
‘No life lost’- Police
The Lagos State police spokesperson, Bala Elkana, told PREMIUM TIMES that the victim of the stray bullet was hit at Aboru when a faceoff occurred between operatives of Lagos State Task Force and miscreants.
Mr Elkana said the operatives of the task force and police officers carried out the enforcement exercise in the area and 86 motorcycles were impounded.
“The riders of the impounded motorcycles and thugs in large number advanced to Iyana-Ipaja and attacked police officers on duty at Iyana Ipana roundabout, Alaguntan junction and Aboru junction,” he said.
Mr Elkana said no life was lost in the attack, ”but Salifu Umar, an Inspector of police was injured by the hoodlums.”
He said one LASTMA vehicle and two Neighbourhood Watch patrol bicycles were burnt by the hoodlums.
He said 34 suspects were arrested in connection with the violent attacks and will be charged to court.
A similar violence occurred at Ijora area of the state on Monday when a mob protested the restriction. The police said 24 suspects were arrested during the said attack for blocking major roads in Ijora, ”burning tyres, looting and stealing from unsuspecting road users and causing obstructions in the area.”