Normalcy returns to Oshodi
The cause of the chaos that ensued in the Mosafejo area of Oshodi, Lagos, between soldiers and hoodlums has been revealed to be connected to the killing of an unarmed Airman.
According to the Nation, the unnamed Airman who was plain-clothed had boarded an Ikorodu bound vehicle when suddenly a fracas broke out at the park between bus operators and passengers.
He was said to have intervened in the fracas in a bid to restore peace but was killed in the process and his body left atop the bridge till Tuesday when passersby saw and evacuated it to a nearby mortuary.
According to a source, the soldier’s colleagues who were worried about his sudden disappearance made enquiries and discovered his last seen position was at Oshodi.
They were said to have gone to the park on Tuesday and were told a dead man was seen on top of the bridge and evacuated to the mortuary.
“The soldiers then went round nearby morgues and eventually saw him. He was moved to NAF mortuary. So, the authorities asked Ops MESA to go to the park and find out from the chairman what happened that day. They were also directed to find out those responsible for the murder of the Airman.
“But as soon as the area boys saw Ops MESA approaching the park, they became riotous and were shouting that soldiers have come to arrest their chairman. That was what happened,” said a source who pleaded anonymity.
News of soldiers’ takeover soon spread to other parts of Oshodi, forcing traders and commuters to flee.
Reacting to the incident, police spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said calm has been restored, adding that investigation into the cause of the violence was ongoing.
He said: “The Lagos State Police Command is aware of the conflict that occurred at Capa Park/Mosafejo Oshodi, Lagos, on Thursday May 20, at 7am.
“Normalcy has been restored to the area, as the matter is under investigation. We urge Lagosians to go about their lawful businesses in the area and in the state in general.
“No cause for alarm. The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu has ordered that intensive patrol in the area.”
But the NAF denied Thursday’s unrest was connected to the murdered Airman, saying unconfirmed reports available to them indicated it was about a wife to a military officer whose phone was snatched.
According to NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the Airman was strangled to death on Monday by suspected hoodlums and his murder was unconnected to Thursday morning’s unrest.
He said: “The Airman was killed on Monday and his body was dumped on Oshodi Bridge and was discovered by early morning cleaners who raised alarm and the NAF was duly informed. Thereafter the airman’s corpse was deposited at Yaba hospital.
“Investigation revealed that the Airman was strangled to death by suspected hoodlums.
“However the unrest at Oshodi is not in relation to the Airman’s death. Though not yet confirmed, it was gathered that a lady’s phone was snatched and her husband happens to be military personnel.”
Similarly, the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army which also confirmed there were skirmishes at Oshodi, said investigation was ongoing to determine the cause of the incident.
Spokesman for the Division, Major Olaniyi Osoba said: “The situation is currently under control as commuters are already going about with their normal businesses without any harassment. Investigation is ongoing to determine what caused the unfortunate incident.”