…soldiers deployed, police sue for peace
Three persons were feared killed in the violence that broke out between drivers’ union and butchers in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State capital, yesterday.
Several others, who were injured in the fracas, were rushed to undisclosed hospitals in the state capital where they are receiving treatment.
Hoodlums had a field day as they vandalised and looted offices, shops and market stalls while the violence lasted.
Traders and residents scampered for safety as the opposing parties in the violence wielded guns, machetes, swords and other dangerous weapons.
No fewer than five vehicles belonging to the drivers were vandalized, just as banks and other shops in the area could not open for business.
Trouble started yesterday morning, when some commercial drivers were said to have accused the butchers of harbouring fraudsters duping unsuspecting residents in the state capital. This followed the alleged refusal of the butchers to surrender a man alleged to have duped a woman said to be the wife of one of the drivers.
Sources traced the genesis of the crisis to the activities of the fraudsters who duped a woman, who happened to be a driver’s wife, of N36,000 on Tuesday at the Old Garage area of the capital city.
Unconfirmed sources said the woman was also raped by the culprits in the process.
Following the incidence, members of the driver’s union were said to have gone to the spot noted as hideout of the fraudsters at the Old Garage area to demand for the person responsible.
The refusal of the butchers to pinpoint the culprit led to hostilities between the drivers and the butchers, as dangerous weapons were freely used by both sides.
It took the intervention of the new Police Commissioner, who have just assumed duties in the state on Tuesday, Mr Etop John James, who led scores of both regular and mobile policemen to the trouble spots before the mob retreated.
The police boss, while addressing the warring factions at Old Garage and Atikankan, expressed regrets over the incidence and vowed to restore normalcy in no time.
James said he had just resumed in Ado-Ekiti on the orders of the IGP over the spate of kidnapping and other heinous crimes in the state.
However, the spokesman for the police in the state, Mr Alberto Adeyemi, said only four persons sustained injuries in the crisis