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One killed as Lagos thugs clash with soldiers over fence

A young man identified simply as Lekan has been reportedly shot dead during a clash between some thugs and one of the soldiers deployed to…

A young man identified simply as Lekan has been reportedly shot dead during a clash between some thugs and one of the soldiers deployed to a construction site along Railway, Otto in Lagos Mainland.

It was learnt that a tarmac is being constructed in the area by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), the operator of Lagos Rail Mass Transit, for the maintenance of railways.

Daily Trust gathered that the construction company in charge of the project recently started building a fence to separate the tarmac from the neigbouring communities, but the residents kicked against it, saying the fence would deny them easy access to the main road.

The company was said to have continued building the fence despite complaints by the affected communities – Odaliki Botanical Garden, Ifesowapo Jones Otto/Ilogbo Extension Community Development Association, Ilogbo Shemore CDA and Ifeoluwa Rail Line CDA.

The matter came to a head around 10am on Saturday when some thugs complained over the fence.

The gang leader identified as Dagbe reportedly confronted one of the soldiers providing security for workers on the site. In the ensuing confrontation between the duo, Lekan was said to have intervened.

“The clash occurred around 10am on Saturday and the corpse of the person that was shot was taken away by the police that were mobilised to the scene,” Chairman, Ifesowapo CDA, Mr Ishola Agbodemu, said.

“The boys wanted to regroup and strike but we had to prevail on them. The communities don’t have any issue with the government. We are only appealing to the Lagos State Government to consider our request for easy access to the road which the fence has denied us,” he added.

The Lagos State Police Command Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundenyin, said the clash occurred under the jurisdiction of the Railway Police Command and he could not comment on it.

However, efforts to reach the railway command proved abortive.

Meanwhile, the communities in a separate petition jointly signed by their representatives, said the fence would deny pupils easy access to their schools, urging the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and LAMATA to look into the issue.

An acknowledged copy of the letter to LAMATA dated August 14, 2023, read, “With all due regard and honour, the above four communities, registered community development associations, forward our pains and worries to your good offices, seeking access road to our communities of over five hundred thousand inhabitants.

“We duly appreciate and commend this laudable project and we request for access road from the outset of this project from one of the site engineers who said that they would create motorable road and pedestrian access road.

“This made us to relax, but to our greatest dismay they have started putting fence. CCECC Company has put the whole communities into outright cage. The structure will deny us access. We implore your good offices to kindly consider how our kids can access schools and how working class can have access to bus stop.

Sir, in summary our easy access to and fro lies in your decision.”

LAMATA External Relations Specialist, Kola Ojelabi, said he was not aware of the petition.

“I don’t have access to the petition and I can’t comment on what I’m not aware of,” he said.

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