One dies, as park managers, cell phone retailers clash in Ibadan

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There was chaos around the Iwo Road area of Ibadan, Oyo State capital, on Wednesday evening as some park managers allegedly clashed with some cell phone retailers, leading to the killing of one person.

A witness said that one of the cell phone dealers had challenged the park managers, who are also members of the proscribed National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), for blocking the main entrance of the shopping complex.

This was said to have allegedly angered the park managers, who hurriedly mobilised themselves, brandishing dangerous weapons, and unleashed mayhem on the cell phone retailers.

It was gathered that a shopping complex was vandalised, while cell phones and their accessories, among other valuables, were destroyed in the process.

A witness, who pleaded anonymity, told newsmen that one person was left dead, while many others sustained injuries.

The crisis disrupted business activities in the area. The shop owners hurriedly closed their shops to avoid looting of their goods, while others scampered for safety for fear of being attacked.

The crisis led to a chaotic traffic situation in the area, stretching from Iwo Road to Gbagi and Airport Road, as well as Agodi Gate and Governor’s Office at the State Secretariat.

Some youths aggrieved by the alleged unruly behaviour of the park managers later marched to the Government House, Agodi Gate, and the Governor’s office with the body of one of the victims allegedly killed in the crisis.

The angry youths, who are mostly phone retailers later in the evening stormed the Governor’s office and blocked the main gate to the Governor’s office.

All efforts made by some aides of Governor Seyi Makinde to pacify the youths proved abortive as they, in their hundreds, insisted that they would not leave the entrance gate.

The Executive Assistant to the Governor on Security Matters, Mr Sunday Odukoya; Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa; the Commissioner of Health, Dr Bashir Bello and the Executive Secretary, Oyo State Health Insurance Scheme, Dr Olushola Akande, made spirited efforts to pacify the youth.

The youths vowed that they would not leave unless they meet with the governor to brief him on what transpired at the Iwo Road area of Ibadan, which led to the death of one of them.

As the governor could not attend to them, they were shouting the name of Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi, Chairman of the Park Management System Disciplinary Committee, accusing him of responsibility for the killing.

They later left the gate when it was discovered that the governor had left the office through another gate.

The governor’s aides later provided an ambulance that conveyed the lifeless body to the Ring Road State Hospital’s morgue.

None of the governor’s aides was ready to comment on the incident.

However, the deployment of security personnel to the Iwo Road was said to have restored relative peace to the area.

In another development, it was also gathered that no fewer than two persons allegedly lost their lives on Monday night, at the Oremeji-Agugu area of Ibadan when members of the proscribed NURTW clashed.

When contacted, Olusegun Oluwole, the Public Relations Officer of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), confirmed that there was a crisis at the Iwo Road area of the state capital.

Oluwole said that the cause of the crisis could not be ascertained at the time of filing this report.

However, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Adewale Osifeso, denied the report in a phone interview.