Aggrieved commercial motorcyclists at Era area of Badagry, Lagos, have threatened to avenge the killing of their colleagues by motor park touts, otherwise known as agbero, during a fight over collection of levy on Tuesday. A visit to the community Thursday revealed that one of the deceased commercial motorcyclists, simply identified as Lawal, was allegedly hit with a charm. Two others, said to have suffered same fate, had reportedly been discharged from the hospital and taken to an undisclosed herbal home for further treatment. Residents had fled the area. Those that returned and others that stayed back remained indoors, with their children withdrawn from school. Shops and business centres were still under lock and key.
One of the motorcyclists, who gave his name as Benjamin, said 35-year-old Lawal was killed at Adele Bus Stop. He said: “Lawal was not even working on that day (Tuesday). When he was accosted by the abgeros, he told them he was not working and hence would not pay the N50 levy. They insisted he must pay, which led to a heated argument, during which he was attacked with local charms. He spun several times before falling down dead. Two other persons, who came to know what the problem was, were hit with the charm. But they did not die, as they were rushed to a nearby hospital, from where they were transferred to a traditional home.”
A member of the Landlord/ Resident Association in the community, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Vanguard that almost all commercial motorcyclists in the community were from Kogi State. He said: “When the crisis occurred, the touts claimed nobody could do anything to them because they were omo onile (indegenes), while the motorcyclists are strangers. Even when the aggrieved motorcyclists went to the residence of the mother of the touts that hit Lawal with charms, she boasted that they could not do anything, calling them bastards. That was what made them (motorcyclists) set the house ablaze. They proceeded to another building owned by another tout and also set it ablaze.”
Vanguard gathered that family members of the motor park touts had abandoned their homes. Consequently, the community had to initiate Oro (a night masquerade) to restore peace as there were reports of plans of reprisal attacks by both parties at midnight. Vanguard gathered that some women caught in the crisis were injured, stripped naked and shops looted.