Today In History: Yoruba and Hausa Clash in Lagos Ends

On Tuesday 5th February, 2000, about 100 heavily armed members of the Nigerian Army were deployed to Idi Araba, Lagos to restore peace after the clash between Yoruba and Hausa tribal militants which had begun three days earlier.

Soldiers ordered residents to walk through the battle-torn streets with their hands above their heads or to lie on the ground as a precaution as they searched them for weapons.

Many residents fled their homes as they fear the fight might resurge of after nightfall. Some other however nervously ventured back to collect whatever belongings were left in their looted, burned homes.

The violence started on Saturday after a group of Hausa men claimed a young Yoruba man desecrated a mosque. They apparently beat him to death which resulted in retaliation by the Yorubas.

Photo Credit: Getty

The clash left 100 people dead, about 400 injured and scores of homes, shops, schools and markets destroyed. It also marked the latest of 40 recorded ethnic and religious clashes in Nigeria since democracy returned in May 1999.

The Governor of Lagos State, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu alongside Hausa governors of several Northern States appeared on the National Television to appeal to fighters in their respective languages to lay down their weapons.

“We are one nation, one people, under one God,” Governor Bola Tinubu said.

The Police Chief in Jigawa State, Shehu Adedayo Adeoye also urged the people not to take the clash as an attack on the Hausa Tribe but as hoodlum activities. “We’ve been going to the villages telling people they should not see the clashes in Lagos as an attack on Hausas by any particular tribe, but the activities of hoodlums,” he said.

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Photo Credit: Getty

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