Tanker drivers go gaga in Apapa, burns two banks

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  • As soldiers, police douse tension
By OKOSUN DENNIS
It was a violent Wednesday at Creek Road, Apapa, Lagos, when scores of tanker drivers went on the rampage over the death of one of their colleagues. They set two banks on fire.
It was alleged that a tanker driver was shot dead by a mobile policeman attached to one of the new generation banks in the area.
National Daily gathered from a witness that the tanker drivers had blocked the entrance of the bank like they  always  do, an action that drew the ire of the bank management.
It was learnt that the policemen had approached them to give access to the bank’s customers to come in and carry out their financial activities but they refused to oblige leading up to an outburst.
As a result, after several attempts to move out of the entrance, one of the policemen attached to the bank had to shoot sporadically into the air to scare them off.
However, a bullet hit one of the tanker drivers, who bled and died on the spot before help could come.
His colleagues later regrouped; set the bank ablaze. Not satisfied with that, they went berserk and set a second bank ablaze.
Attempts by men of the Lagos State Fire Service, located at Iponri, who were called to the scene, to put out the raging fire was rebuffed by the tanker drivers.
It was gathered that the firemen had to leave the area for fear of being attacked by the tanker drivers and their fire trucks vandalised.
It took the effort of some soldiers deployed from the Signal Corps of the  Nigerian Army (NA) to douse the situation and restore sanity to the area.
Their efforts were complemented by men of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command led by their commander, Olatunji Disu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Taking advantage of the crisis, some street urchins wanted to unleash terror but were prevented by some policemen deployed to rescue the situation with some soldiers.
National Daily gathered that some cars and bank properties were not spared as they were vandalised, including customers vehicles at the car park. Prompt intervention prevented spurious looting in the banks.
Speaking on anonymity, a senior police officer said, “Those tanker drivers are very irrational. When the policemen attached to the First  bank shot at the tanker drivers, they regrouped and stormed the bank in anger.
“They were said to have first demanded that the policeman who shot their colleague be released to them. When their demands proved abortive, they took laws into their hands.
“They contributed fuel from their tanks and set the bank ablaze. The entire situation caused a stampede as both workers and bankers scrambled to escape from the back of the bank to safety.
“The drivers were still on rampage in the first bank when they heard that the policeman had taken refuge in the next bank.
“Armed with that information, they simply went over to the said bank and carried out same carnage, irrespective of the presence of innocent bystanders.”
At the moment, the situation has been calmed but the ruins and wreckage by the tanker drivers will take months to heal.

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