A major crisis was averted yesterday in Lokoja, Kogi state capital when men of the Nigerian Navy clashed with members of the motorcycle transport union Lokoja leaving one person seriously injured and a lot of motorcycles vandalized.
The incident which occurred at about 8.30am around Lokoja club was said to have been ignited when an okada rider brushed the vehicle of the Naval officer and in the process sustained an injury.
According to an eyewitness who stated that when the accident occurred the okada riders mobbed the Naval man and in the ensuing confusion, his car keys was seized from him.
The source further stated that on sensing dander, the Naval officer called his colleagues for assistance.
He said immediately the okada riders who had become unruly saw the naval Officer coming took to their heels leaving their machines.
According to the witness the okada men did not know the man as a Navy since they were new in the state saying “if they had known they wouldn’t have thread the dangerous path of confronting a uniformed man.
Collaborating the eyewitness the secretary of the union Mr Ali A.A stated he was passing the Lokoja club when the commotion attracted him to the scene adding that when he got there one naval officer explained to him that his car was involved in a minor accident with an okada man.
He buttressed that in an attempt for the naval man to settle amicably failed as the riders almost lynched him which necessitated his reaching out to his colleagues for assistance.
The secretary hinted that the naval officer told the okada man to go and treat himself first while he will repair his vehicle adding that the okada riders insisted that he should follow them to the hospital.
Speaking to the press at the peace parley between the navy and the okada union the leader of the navy who craved anonymity said “what happened this morning was Nigerians trying to misunderstand each other”
He pleaded with them to return the vehicle key to the officer while advising them to be civil in their dealings with other Nigerians in order not to drag the Navy into unwarranted clash with civilians.