The park of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners in the Berger, Mile 2 area of Lagos was in turmoil on Wednesday after a mechanic, identified only as Oshare, reportedly stabbed his friend to death and injured several others.
PUNCH Metro learnt that trouble started in the park around 11am on Tuesday between Oshare and the friend, identified as Rasta, after he (Rasta) allegedly urinated beside a stationary truck.
Oshare, reportedly challenged the deceased for messing up the spot, said to be a few steps from his shop. As Rasta tried to calm him, he reportedly slapped him, which led to a scuffle.
Our correspondent learnt that the mechanic, who was livid with anger, grabbed two bottles and stabbed the friend in the neck. He was also said to have injured some people who attempted to caution him.
Rasta reportedly bled from his injuries and he was rushed to a hospital for treatment. He, however, died before he could get help.
Shops in the park did not open when our correspondent visited the place on Wednesday.
A trader, Mrs. Ufom Benedict, said she tried in vain to prevail on Oshare when he rushed into her shop, looking for a knife.
She said, “Both of them are mechanics and friends. He confronted Rasta for urinating near his shop and it led to a fight. Oshare rushed to my shop with two bottles in his hands, asking me to give him a knife. He was so angry that he was shaking. I pleaded with him to let peace reign, but he refused and left when I did not give him the knife.
“He chased Rasta around the park until he stabbed him to death in the neck and back. He also attacked those who wanted to collect the bottles from him. I have never witnessed such thing before. It was as if he was possessed.”
Another eyewitness, Lukman Idris, who spoke in Yoruba, said a man, who intervened, stabbed Oshare in the chest, adding that the market was shut down because of the fracas.
He said, “I arrived late yesterday (Tuesday) only to meet everywhere scattered. I learnt that Oshare and his friend fought and while a man tried to separate them, he stabbed him. The man stabbed him back in the chest and hand. Policemen and soldiers have been patrolling this place.”
A resident of the area, Tayo Agboola, said Oshare should be arrested and prosecuted if he survived his injuries.
“I am surprised a human being could be so vicious that he stabbed somebody he called his friend to death. I doubt if he will survive his own injuries and if he does, he should be made to spend the rest of his life in prison. The friend was not the only person that urinates in the place. He must have been keeping malice with him,” he said.
The Chairman of the park, Mr. Martins Animashaun, said allowing traders into the park also contributed to the incident. He added that miscreants had turned the park into a hideout.
He said, “There was problem between two friends. Along the line, one died and the other one was rushed to the hospital. They are not our members. I was in the office yesterday (Tuesday) when I saw people running around and I called the police. They are still investigating the matter.
“Here is a state government-owned park and it is porous. If it is secured, we can manage people inside it. When we leave in the evening, some miscreants come here to sleep. This place is solely earmarked for a park, but along the line, the local government allowed traders into the park and turned it into a market. The more people come in, the more the problem we have. We want this park to be sanitised.”
The spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, SP Dolapo Badmos, said Rasta’s corpse had been deposited in a morgue.
“Information at our disposal revealed that one Oshare and one Rasta engaged each other in a fight with knives and bottles, leading to the death of Rasta. Operatives rushed to the scene and arrested Oshare. He is unconscious and in a hospital for treatment,” she added. he said.