According to a Punch Metro, the family of a photographer, Tode Julius, has been thrown into mourning after he was stabbed to death by hoodlums while on his way to buy food in the Ayetoro area of Ebute Meta in the Yaba Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.
It was gathered that the hoodlums, made up of the Sawmill boys and the Adekunle boys, had been engaged in a supremacy fight, which had threatened the peace of the community for months.
It eas learnt that whenever a fight broke out, residents, business owners and market women around the Better Life Market in the Ayetoro and Makoko areas were usually thrown into a state of panic, as they run helter-skelter to keep themselves away from the battlefield.
It was gathered that the crisis had led to the death of some of the residents and left scores of people injured.
Tode was said to be a victim of circumstance, as he had gone to purchase the food he wanted to eat from where a group of hoodlums had planned to attack members of the other group on Sunday, June 9, 2019.
The deceased’s friend, Jimi Richard, who accompanied Tode to the food vendor’s shop, said he fled immediately the hoodlums started fighting, adding that he was surprised to later find out that his friend became a casualty.
Richard said, “The fight was between the Sawmill boys and the Adekunle boys. On that day, we were sitting in the area when Julius (Tode) said he wanted to buy noodles to eat for the night. So, I escorted him to where a woman was selling cooked noodles on Ayetoro Street, and when we got there, he placed his order.
“Unknown to us, the hoodlums were about to attack each other where Tode wanted to purchase the food. As soon as the attack started, I ran away. I thought Tode was coming behind, but it was when I got into the compound that I realised that he was nowhere to be found.
“I started asking people if they saw him and was later informed that the hoodlums had stabbed him and that he was rushed to hospital. I had planned to visit him in hospital the following day, but in the morning, one of our friends, Soji, came to inform me that Tode had died. I saw a lot of people mourning his death. I also visited the mortuary and when I saw his corpse, I discovered that the hoodlums used machete to cut him in the head.”
Tode’s cousin, John, who described the photographer’s death as shocking, said he was buried on the day he gave up the ghost, adding that the police should help the family to investigate the events that led to his death and apprehend the culprits.
The Ondo State indigene said, “I was in the area when the incident happened, but I wasn’t at that exact location where Tode was killed. We want justice for his death and will appreciate if the police can conduct an investigation to arrest those who killed him. My cousin gave up the ghost around 1.30am on Monday and was buried on that same day at the Atan Cemetery.
“His death made people to be scared of conducting their business in the area as all shops were locked, but it took the intervention of the Commissioner of Police and men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad to give the traders the confidence to continue doing their business in the area.”
A church member of the deceased, who did not want to be mentioned, said another resident, Ebenezer, lost three of his fingers when he was attacked by the hoodlums on his way home.
The source stated, “Nobody knows the cause of the fight but it has been going on for over three months. They usually use machetes, bottles and guns to fight each other and we do hear gunshots at night. Tode was a church member; another injured person is a fisherman, Ebenezer, who was on his way home when the vehicle conveying him and other passengers to their destinations broke down on the Third Mainland Bridge.
“So, they decided to trek and were attacked by the hoodlums. I got to know about the attack because I know Ebenezer and when I visited him in hospital, I saw that the hoodlums had cut off three of his fingers and stabbed him in the back of his head and in the leg.
“We are frustrated by these hoodlums; in the evening, they usually gather at the roundabout, and when residents and traders in the market see them, they will start packing up because of the fear of what can happen.”
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said he had not been briefed about the incident.