Abuja Okada riders, security agents clash over cyclists’ deaths

Crisis erupted on Sunday in Karu, one of the satellite towns of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, when some commercial motorcyclists (Okada) clashed with security operatives.

The security operatives were said to have been drafted to the scene to restore normalcy when the motorcyclists, who were protesting what they called the mysterious death of two of their colleagues, went on the rampage and started vandalising vehicles and attacking passers-by.

The protesters were said to have resorted to stoning the security operatives.

This was after they had blocked the Nyanya-Karshi Road, off the Abuja-Keffi Expressway, leaving motorists stranded.

It was learnt that the motorcyclists were protesting the alleged killing of two of their colleagues.

Sources said while one was killed on Friday with his motorcycle stolen, the same fate befell another on Sunday morning, therefore causing the unrest.

One of the sources said, “One commercial motorcyclist was killed this (Sunday) morning. His corpse was dumped beside a refuse bin near a church and a cemetery.  His motorcycle was stolen.

“The same thing happened to another rider on Friday morning. His corpse was also dumped in the same area.

“So, young guys in the area and commercial motorcyclists were angry and decided to stage the protest. That was what caused the mayhem.”

The protesters were said to have burnt used tyres on the main road.

The development caused panic among residents and passers-by, who ran to safety.

Churches located in the area were said to have locked their members inside the premises to prevent them from falling victims.

Mostly affected were residents of Karu, Nyanya, Jikwoyi, Kurudu, Orozo and Karshi, among other settlements in the Abuja Municipal Area Council.

While the uproar lasted, residents resorted to sharing messages on social media to warn people to keep off the affected areas.

The Police Public Relations Officer, FCT Command, Mariam Yusuf, confirmed the protest in an interview.

Yusuf, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, however, said normalcy had been restored in the areas.

She stated, “It was not a clash. It was a protest by motorcyclists due to the death killing of their colleagues by unknown assailants.

“However, normalcy has been restored and the command is investigating the incidents.”

There was tension in Abuja throughout last week following reports of alleged imminent attacks on some government facilities and VIP locations in the FCT.  – Punch.

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