Would you like to receive notifications for Breaking news and updates?
On Tuesday, July 13th, 2021, the peace that reign at Ladipo Market, one of the biggest spare parts dealers in Lagos was shattered after some army personnel reportedly clashed with traders over 3,500/4000 Kickstarter.
According to a video narration from the press conference convened by the association of marketers in Ladipo posted on Facebook, the clash, which started about 11:45 am, resulted in an exchange of stones and gunshots.
The number of dead traders has not to been confirmed, but rumours state no fewer than four people were feared dead and several others injured.
It also led to pandemonium as traders and passers-by scampered to safety.
There were different accounts as to how the trouble started. One of the reports said trouble started when a man in army uniform soldier came to pick spare parts he bought from one Prince Uchenna, known popularly as Chisco, and on getting there, there was a disagreement that led to the chaos.
An eyewitness identified as Achuku Ezenwa, who witnessed what led to the shooting, narrated the incident to the press on Wednesday noon, stating that the incident happened at about 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday when some customers were making complaints at the public complaint committee of the market.
A man was complaining about some goods, then a man wearing a white long shirt with army camouflage and a pair of jeans came and said they should attend to him immediately.
Ezenwa said the market officials explained that they needed to finish with the person before him and this led to an argument.
He added that the other customer also demanded urgent attention and the soldier told him to keep quiet.
The soldier was said to have approached the public complaint committee over a Kickstarter he purchased in January which cost between N3,500 and N4, 000.
“The officer left and after 10 minutes, he came back with OP Mesa and they started shooting", Ezenwa said
He said all efforts to calm the situation failed as the officers kept shooting at traders, killing one instantly while others sustained injuries.
“People started running and throwing stones. People were running into their shops,” he said.
However, another said the customer brought an engine he bought earlier from a trader at the market because it was faulty. The trader was said to have argued that the guaranteed date on the receipt of purchase had expired, thereby refusing to change it as requested by the customer.
Meanwhile, in another report, Edward Gabkwet, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) spokesperson, said in a statement that NAF personnel attached to the Operation (OPs) MESA were at Ladipo market in response to a distress call.
“A call was put across by traders on a fight going on between a soldier of the Nigerian Army (NA) and a civilian debtor. Upon receipt of the call, the team moved to the market but was attacked by angry traders who pelted stones at them.
“Firstly, NAF personnel did not kill anyone. Moreover, it was one person that died not three. The information we have at the moment is that the NAF operatives who are attached to OPs MESA received a distress call that a soldier was having an issue with a debtor,” Gabkwet said.
He added that the officers went into the market to restore peace and two operatives were injured in the process of maintaining peace in the market.
“We are going to investigate the incident to know what really happened. We will get to the root of the matter and if any of our operatives is found to have acted otherwise, they would be sanctioned accordingly,” he said.