Several people sustained injuries on Saturday during a confrontation between law enforcement agents and suspected shop breakers at Mandate Market in Adewole area of Ilorin, Kwara State. The clash occurred after some shop owners complained to the security agencies that petty traders, guards, cleaners or load carriers who reside in the market were breaking into shops at night.
As a result, policemen from the market police post raided the market, which led to the arrest of some suspects. However, the suspects’ relatives insisted on their release, and a fracas broke out, leading to pandemonium in the market.
In response, the police fired tear gas canisters to disperse the mob who allegedly gathered to attack policemen and shop owners who lodged complaints. The incident caused shop owners to close for business and run for safety, while motorists avoided the area.
A reinforcement of security agents, including the police and operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), were quickly deployed to the market to restore calm. The spokesman of the NSCDC in the state, Ayeni Olasunkanmi, stated that the situation was under control, and other sister agencies were ensuring that the situation remained calm.
The spokesman of the Kwara State Police Command, Okasanmi Ajayi, confirmed the incident, stating that it was caused by a misunderstanding between two groups of tomato and pepper sellers in Mandate Market. The Commissioner of Police, Kwara State, CP Paul Odama dispatched teams of policemen to the scene to restore calm. No casualties on either side have been recorded as at now.