A person was reportedly killed and four others were severely injured in a free-for-all fight between some marketers in Ilorin’s Mandate Market and officers of the Nigeria Police Force.
As a result of the incident, the Kwara state government has shut down the market.
Though the Kwara state police command’s spokesman did not confirm the death, Sunday Vanguard reliably learned from one of the market association’s officers that the deceased, identified as Dan Fulani, died during the fracas while four others were severely injured.
According to Sunday Vanguard, the clash was sparked by the arrest of three members of the association after some shops in the market were burgled Friday night by suspected hoodlums, and shop items worth millions of naira were carted away.
Some people in the market were said to be dissatisfied with the arrest of the suspects and thus demanded their release from the police officers, who resisted them in turn.
According to Sunday Vanguard, the police’s refusal to release the suspects prompted enraged supporters to begin destroying the market, destroying goods worth millions of naira, and chaos ensued.
Security agents, including police officers and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) operatives, were quickly dispatched to the market to bring the situation under control.
Ayeni Olasunkanmi, the state spokesman for the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), told journalists that the fracas was the result of a raid on the market earlier that day by law enforcement officers.
“The problem at the market arose as a result of a raid conducted by the Nigeria Police in the market in response to complaints from marketers that some shop breakers used to operate inside the market at night.”
“Some of the suspects arrested are Hausas, and their families are demanding that the police release them.”
“The situation there is under control. Other sister agencies are present to keep the situation calm, he added.
Okasanmi Ajayi, spokesman for the Kwara State Police Command, also stated that the breach of public order in the market was caused by “a misunderstanding between two groups of tomatoe and pepper sellers in Mandate Market, which resulted in a fracas.”
“The Commissioner of Police in Kwara State, CP Paul Odama, has dispatched teams of policemen to the scene.” Calm is gradually being restored. As soon as the investigation is completed, full details on both the immediate and remote causes of the incident will be made public. There were no fatalities on the
“Kwara State Commissioner of Police, CP Paul Odama, has dispatched teams of policemen to the scene.” Calm is gradually returning. As soon as the investigation is completed, the full details of the incident’s immediate and remote causes will be made public. As of now, no casualties have been reported on either the marketers’ or the police’s side,” Ajayi said.
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Government has closed the mandate market in Ilorin following the market crisis.
According to a statement issued by the Honourable Commissioner for Business, Innovation, and Technology Mallam Ibrahim Akaje, the market will reopen on Monday at 8 a.m.
“Even though the government has restored normalcy to the market following the initial tension and opportunist attacks by hoodlums on people’s properties,” the statement continued, “the government hereby directs temporary market closure for security reasons pending resolution of some issues that had triggered the disturbances.”
“The government applauds the security agencies’ prompt response to distress calls.” We caution against further trouble from any source. The market and the activities of everyone involved in it are governed by laws that must be followed by all.
“The market will reopen on Monday, and efforts to resolve all outstanding issues have begun.”