Lagos—Normalcy has returned to the abattoir, Agege area of Lagos, which was, Wednesday, thrown into pandemonium, following a clash between Hausa and Fulani traders that left three persons dead and scores of others injured.
However, traders at the popular market were still in fear yesterday, over suspicion of a reprisal attack by the Fulani, as some of them did not display their wares until noon.
One of them said most of them came to the market with charms that would prevent knives, daggers and arrows from penetrating them, and other charms to induce sleep, in case of any attack.
It was also gathered that sales and slaughtering of cows were suspended until 1p.m. yesterday, with members of the warring groups armed with dangerous weapons, in readiness of any reprisal attack.
One of the traders, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “We are still afraid because we heard that the Fulani are planning to carry out a reprisal attack. They are likely to come from the Kara end.
“But those they are coming to attack are also prepared, because some of them have dangerous weapons also. Most of them even came to the market with charms that would prevent knives, daggers and arrows from penetrating them. They also came with charms that would induce sleep in case of any attack.”
Traditional rulers involvement
However, Vanguard gathered that traditional rulers of both groups in the community had met with their subjects on the need to maintain peace.
But most of the Fulani suspected to be spoiling for a reprisal attack were discovered not to be living in the community.
A Fulani trader, who spoke with Vanguard on condition of anonymity, noted that “most of the Fulani, who caused the problem on Wednesday are not from this community.
“They came from the bush. We are also afraid for our lives because they are very dangerous. Some of them may not even be Nigerians.”
Attempts to speak with the Seriki Fulani, Bello Damopaba, failed as a man who claimed to be one of his aides said he was at a meeting.
The aide, who simply gave his name as Saidu, alleged that the Hausa invaded the palace two days ago and destroyed property worth millions of naira.
Saidu said: “The attack was done at night and several persons were injured in the process. They (Hausa) claimed that the Seriki was supporting the Fulani.
“But it is a lie because any time a case involving any Fulani man is brought to the palace, the person is cautioned and sanctioned where appropriate.
“The Seriki has never supported any Fulani and will never. He has also met with all the unit heads of Fulani and has cautioned everyone to be calm. That is why we are witnessing peace today.”
Police patrol area
Police patrol vans and those of OP MESSA were stationed at strategic locations, while armed operatives were seen patrolling on foot.
Addressing journalists on the development, yesterday, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, said that the command had been working with leaders of both groups to ensure that there was no repeat of such incident.
He said: “We have an overwhelming presence of personnel around that place to ensure the protection of residents in the area.”
He stated that only one person died in Wednesday’s crisis, while three persons were injured.
He added: “A corpse was recovered in the cause of our operation at the abattoir, while three persons, who were injured are still in the hospital.
“We do not know of any other corpse and nobody has come to say he lost anybody in the clash. So, officially, only one person died.”