A male passenger in a commercial bus was killed by a stray bullet from task force police officers who were enforcing Okada ban in Rainbow bus stop, Lagos, on Monday.
The police operatives in the area were reportedly trying to enforce the ban on commercial motorcycles on the route but were repelled by some hoodlums.
According to eyewitnesses, the police operatives later resorted to opening fire to disperse the hoodlums and commercial motorcyclists, who were over 100.
In the process, a stray bullet hit a male passenger in his 20s, right inside a commercial bus, on the other side of the road.
It was also gathered that another passenger also sustained injury from another bulet, was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
The incident caused a stampede, as everyone took to their heels to avoid further disaster.
Motorists, including commercial motorcyclists, abandoned their vehicles and fled for safety, while roadside traders abandoned their wares to the mercy of hoodlums who hijacked the opportunity to loot.
When the policemen realised the magnitude of their action, they too, it was learnt, left the scene with some impounded motorcycles.
The incident led to protesters barricading the highway with a bonfire, thereby depriving motorists driving outward Apapa access.
A resident, Lakan Wajud said: “Okada riders have become more daring. They have simply refused to comply with the directive of the state government on the ban. Seriously, I don’t understand these commercial motorcyclists. The government said they don’t want something, you are still doing it. Now see how the issue has led to the death of an innocent young man.”
On his part, another eyewitness, Samsudeen Mojeed, said: “Why would any sane Force storm here at this time to effect the arrest of okada riders? The only alternative means of going to Mile 2 and beyond now is okada. The whole road has been blocked, due to the construction work going on. Motorists spend at least four hours or more from Second Rainbow to Apapa, if they attempt to ply this route.
“I blame the construction company for the return of okada to this axis. The riders only hijacked the opportunity of the road construction to make some money. Government and its security agency should be sensitive when enforcing any policy.”
Confirming the incident, Director of Operations, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Peter Ola, said sanity had been restored, following reinforcement of the military men.
According to Peter: “There was pandemonium in Amuwo Odofin axis as okada riders clashed with security operatives at about 1500hrs today (Monday).
“Security operatives were deployed to the location to restore normalcy.”