There was pandemonium on the Agege Motor Road on Wednesday as commercial motorcyclists and policemen clashed.

The protesting cyclists pursued policemen attached to the Lagos State Taskforce who had gone out to enforce the traffic law.

Wednesday’s incident was an extension of Tuesday’s clash which started at Second Rainbow Bus Stop on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway where motorcyclists set bonfires on the expressway. A paramilitary officer was injured.

It was gathered that trouble started when some officials of the taskforce went to enforce the ban on motorcycles from plying major roads. Many motorcycles were impounded.

Angered by this, the motorcyclists reinforced and attacked the officials. They were alleged to have pelted them with stones and bottles.

According to sources, the cyclists told their colleagues to prepare for battle against the officials.

Armed with cutlasses and bottles, the riders, who outnumbered the policemen, took over the BRT lanes and forced the policemen to flee.

They advanced towards the policemen, a move that made other road users scamper to safety, and the policemen ran for their lives.

Trouble allegedly started at Iyana Ipaja where officials approached the motorcyclists to leave the expressway, especially the BRT lane. The cyclists however resisted, saying they pay daily levies and should not be prohibited from working nor restricted to certain routes.

A motorcyclist, Yusuf, said the seizure of motorcycle started from Iyana Ipaja but the riders resisted them and retrieved all the seized motorcycles.

He said: “The officers started impounding motorcycles and arresting our members from Iyana-Ipaja, so we resisted them and got back all the motorcycles. They started shooting at us and we chased them from Iyana-Ipaja to Ikeja-Along where they eventually left us.

“The taskforce officials are fond of harassing us and we won’t take that anymore. If they seize our motorcycles, how do they expect us to survive? The government should have mercy on us; they cannot just stop motorcycles from plying the roads without providing an alternative for us.”

As the officials fled, the rampaging riders were said to have vandalised properties within reach, including BRT buses and setting up bonfires.

A petty trader said: “We were going about our daily activities when Taskforce officers parked their vehicles at one corner and started arresting okada riders. The riders mobilised to resist the officers and they started shooting, not minding who would be hit. “We left our goods and ran for safety when we noticed it was getting tensed.”

Although the police declined comments on the issue, the Nation gathered that about 26 of the cyclists were arrested.

It was also learnt that security reinforcement was deployed in the scene which led to the suspects’ arrest.

Violence also broke out at the Surulere area of the state with sporadic gunshots heard by witnesses. Miscreants were said to have clashed around Cassette Bus Stop in Aguda, forcing shop owners to close business.

It was gathered that nearby streets were deserted as the armed hoodlums, suspected to be cultists, kept shooting.

Sources claimed the violence was preparatory to an attack on another cult group, adding that the shooters were more than 10.

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