Tension In Lagos As Igbos, Yorubas Clash Over Leadership Roles

Tension is brewing in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos state following reports that some Igbos and their Yoruba counterparts are battling for leadership positions.

Lagos Market

Vanguard reports that the tribal factions of a major association in the Olugbede Model Market in the area are poised for a showdown which could result to loss of lives and property if not nipped in the bud.

The Model Market which was arguably the most peaceable markets in the state became crisis-ridden members of the GSM association, who constitute about 95 per cent of the market population, had a serious altercation.

According to findings, the market had been started about 40 years ago by some Yoruba traders, but due to relocation challenges being experienced some Igbo GSM traders at the Ikeja GSM village, they (Igbos) reportedly ran to Olugbede Model market for help.

Reports say the Igbos were received with open arms but after some time, the ‘guests’ started growing in number and virtually dominated the market, a development which their Yoruba ‘landlords’ have been uncomfortable with.

Fears are now being raised by major stakeholders in the market over the possibility of a showdown between both tribes as none of both parties is willing soft pedal on the leadership post.

Another election is on the cards in the Model market and an electoral committee has been inaugurated to oversee the forthcoming polls, but the pre-election moves by both parties have degenerated into a serious crises for which the police have been involved.

The police authorities have also advised that the election be put on hold until normalcy returns to the market.

The chairman of the electoral body told Vanguard in a telephone conversation that he was no longer relevant as the election had been put on hold.

“The crisis has gone beyond what we think and the Police have intervened. We were asked to suspend the election and put our house in order, as a result, I don’t think I am in the best position to handle any leadership role in the market,” he explained.

The chairman of the previous government on his part, simply said he was not in his best state of mind.

The host community might also be involved in the brewing fracas, except urgent measures are taken by Lagos State Marketing Board, traditional rulers and other concerned authorities.

The traders have also accused their leaders of mismanagement and insensitivity to members’ plight and noped that an intervention by the government will help salvage the situation.

The Iyaloja of the market Mrs Adebamowo Musili, believes that the crisis would be resolved in no distant future, saying: “there is no way we will not misunderstand ourselves but it is our duty to resolve it. Both factions belong to us but nobody must be cheated.”

Speaking also on the issue was the leader of Egbeda youths, Wahab Okanlawon Ogunji, who lamented that if the seeming crisis is not nipped in the bud, it could cause a major break down of law and order in the area.

“My sister, we cannot fold our arms and allow things to get out of hands, the traders who are mostly youths have cried to us and we have taken the matter to the LCDA but it is so painful that the Igbos are taking laws into their hands without fear nor favour,” he stated.

There had also been several issues with the popular auto spare parts market in Ladipo area of Lagos over the crises which had engulfed the market after it emerged that some buildings were brought down, but the Lagos state government has since waded in.