Three people were feared dead and many injured in Ekiti State on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 as groups of thugs clashed unleashing terror on the Oja Oba market around the old garage area of Ado Ekiti.
The hoodlums were said to belong to Hausa and Yoruba groups. The fracas paralysed activities in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital during the fracas.
Property worth millions of naira were either completely burnt or vandalized. It was gathered that about three persons may have also lost their lives in the violence.
According to eye witness accounts, trouble started in the night of Tuesday, May 19,2015 when a bag belonging to wife of a Chieftain of road transport workers was snatched by unknown persons along the ever-busy Ijigbo-old garage area of the city.
It was learnt that cases of bag snatching had for long been a recurrent crime in the area, with some of the jobless Hausas being prime suspects.
The Daily Sun reports that it was attempts by the enraged husband of the victim and his followers to find out who actually was responsible for the snatching of her wife’s bag as well as other bags usually snatched at night that ignited the crisis.
The most damaged areas were Atikankan, where there is huge concentration of Hausa settlers as well as Oja-Oba, (king’s market), old garage and new garage, believed to be central trading places of the Hausas.
During the ensuing violence, no fewer than 5 vehicles belonging to the drivers were vandalized and their windscreens broken while close to 15 houses and offices rented by the Hausas were either completely burnt or vandalized.
Some hoodlums, wielding cutlasses and broken bottles also took advantage of the situation to break into shops and loot properties.
The business areas of Ado Ekiti such as Ajilosun, Okeyinmi, Okesha, Irona among others have become deserted as a result of the crisis.
Banks operating in the city have also shut down work till further notice.
Those operating Bureau De Change business among the Hausas also had their share of the attack as virtually all their offices were vandalized.
In the same vein, heaps of destroyed trading items such as onions, tomatoes as well as dry fish and pepper, apparently belonging to the Hausas currently litter the streets.
Journalists who tried to report the incident were not left out as some were attacked and cameras seized from them not for the timely intervention of security operative who rescued them.
An Igbo trader Chief Ezekiel Umeh who fell victim of the burnt kings market could not hold back tears as he revealed his goods worth five million Naira got burnt in the clash while calling on the state government to come to his aid as he lost all belongings to the inferno.
It took the personal intervention of the newly posted Ekiti state Police Commissioner, Mr. Etop John James who led a large force of policemen of the force to the trouble spots before the mobs retreated.
Addressing both sides of the residents at old garage and Atikankan, the new Police boss expressed regrets over the incident and vowed to restore normalcy in no time.
He also said he expected people of the state to give him the honour of information before going to the streets, knowing fully well that he just resumed on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti on the orders of the IGP over the spate of kidnapping and other heinous crimes in the state.