The ever-busy Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos was shut down for over four hours on Thursday after hoodlums wielding cutlasses and other dangerous items caused pandemonium in the area.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the violence was as a result of a feud between legitimate traders and hoodlums who operate as roadside traders.
It was learnt that because of the frequent cases of selling and buying stolen items by the hoodlums as well as the frequent complaints by environmental agencies, the Computer and Allied Product Dealers Association of Nigeria, which comprises legitimate traders, issued an eviction notice to the roadside sellers in the area.
PUNCH Metro learnt that crisis erupted in the market which is known for sales of phones and accessories, after the compulsory environmental sanitation exercise observed every Thursday in all markets in the state.
It was learnt that the hoodlums who did not take kindly to the eviction order resorted to violence.
The act was said to have caused anxiety as passers-by scampered to safety.
One of the CAPDAN officials, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said the order was to sanitise the market.
He said, “We did not just wake up to order them to evacuate from the market. It was a well thought-out process and it was influenced by many cogent reasons. First, I don’t know if you are aware of the constant raids by the Environmental Services and Special Offences Unit of the state government on these same set of people (hoodlums).
“According to our investigations, these people sell stolen phones by the roadside as well as sub-standard products to customers. Some even buy stolen electronics and resell to unsuspecting customers.
“For instance, one of the hoodlums was arrested recently for selling a phone stuffed with Fufu (a staple food) to an unsuspecting customer at the price of the original.”
He added that it took the efforts of policemen from Area F Command and the Rapid Response Squad to restore peace in the area.
Spokesperson for the state police command, Ngozi Braide, however said the shops were not shut down.
While noting that peace had since returned to the market, she said the presence of policemen restored peace in the area.
When our correspondent left the market around 6pm, six police patrol vehicles were seen in the area while some of the arrested hoodlums were put in a Black Maria.