After this mornings ethnic clash at the popular mile 12 market in which lives were lost, activities disrupted and properties worth millions destroyed, Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has ordered the temporary closure of the market.
He also ordered temporary restriction of movements within the following streets, adjourning the market which include Oniyanri Street, Meidan Street, Agiliti 1 and Agiliti 2, urging traders, community leaders and other stakeholders to eschew violence, be calm and law abiding.
Governor Ambode gave the order while addressing newsmen at the Lagos House in company of the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseeni and the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Steve Ayorinde, warning that his government would deal decisively with those criminal elements who cause ethnic strife as it had responsibility to protect lives and properties of Lagosians.
Meanwhile, Owoseeni, disclosed that a substantial number of criminals had been arrested in connections with the clash, saying the closure of market and restriction of movements in the areas listed by the governor would remain as long as the situation demanded.
“We have made a substantial number of arrests, we are still counting,” Owoseeni said, even as he insisted that he did not witness any killing or saw the market burning when he visited the scene.
Ambode, who recalled that there was some disagreement in the market on Wednesday but the situation was brought under control, said, “Today, I have just been informed that some miscreants and criminal elements have exploited that dispute to cause a breakdown of law and order within the area.
“These sorts of clashes do occur from time to time in multi-ethnic city like Lagos and the government has always responded appropriately. The public is hereby assured that we will not shy away from our responsibility to protect lives and properties.
“I will deal decisively with those criminal elements that fan embers of ethnic strife. I have been assured by the commissioner of police and other security agencies who are on ground at the scene that it has been substantially brought under control.
“Let me assure Lagosians that the state is home to every tribe and ethnic group and nobody should give this disturbance any ethnic colouration or whatsoever. Every law-abiding citizen should go about their lawful business,” he assured.