Scores of people were on Saturday injured as law enforcement agents and suspected shop breakers clashed at Mandate market, Adewole area, Ilorin,Kwara State.
It was gathered that some shop owners in the market had complained to security agencies that some petty traders, guards, cleaners or load carriers who reside in the market always break into shops at night at will.
It was also gathered that policemen from the market police post had raided the market following complaints by some victims of burglary incidents in the market.
It was gathered that some of the suspects arrested were youths from the northern part of the country and their people insisted that they must be released ,a situation which degenerated to fracas .
In the wake of the agitation, pandemonium reportedly broke out in the market, prompting the police to fire tear gas carnisters to disperse the mob who had allegedly gathered to attack policemen and shop owners who lodged complaints with the police.
Following the free for all, shop onwers quickly closed for business and ran for their dear lives while motorist plying the mandate market route from Al -Hikma- University road and those from Garin Alimi to Mandate quickly made detour to avoid being caught up in the incident.
A reinforcement of security agents including the police, operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), were quickly despatched to the market to bring the situation under control.
The spokesman of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the state, Ayeni Olasunkanmi, said the fracas was an aftermath of a raid earlier carried out by law enforcement officers in the market.
“The issue there at the market was an aftermath of a raid carried out by the Nigeria Police in the market due to complaints from the marketers that some shop breakers used to operate inside the market in the night.
“Some of the suspects arrested are Hausas and their people are insisting that the police should release them.
“The situation there is under control. Other sister agencies are there to ensure that the situation is calm”, he said.
Also, the spokesman of Kwara State Police Command, Okasanmi Ajayi, said that the breach of public peace in the market was caused by “a misunderstanding between two groups of tomatoe and pepper sellers in Mandate Market leading to a fracas.
“The Commissioner of Police Kwara state, CP Paul Odama has dispatched teams of policemen to the scene. Calm is gradually being restored. Full details of both immediate and remote cause(s) of the incident would be made public as soon as investigation is concluded. No casualties on the sides of the marketers or the police has been recorded as at now,” Ajayi said