Reports suggest that one person was feared dead on Wednesday when some youths suspected to be cultists clashed with some traders at the Ekiosa Market in Edo State. The incident resulted in injuries being inflicted on no less than six persons.
However, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo noted that nobody was killed in the course of the violent incident.
“Nobody was killed. No single death (was recorded),” Kokumo told news correspondents on phone.
The incident was said to have around 1:30 pm at the market’s third junction section in the Oredo Local Government Area of the state. The fracas began when one of the youths identified only as Osaze accused a trader of stealing three bottles of beer from a bar. The trader identified as Abubakar denied the allegation.
Osaze then insisted that the trader must return the stolen drinks or get beaten by the youths in the are. Hausa traders in the market were reported to have pleaded on behalf of the trader, although their leas fell on deaf ears.
The youths then mobilized to attack the traders, but their attempts were thwarted by the intervention of the police. However, they returned after the police presence reduced and inflicted injuries on some of the traders.
The fracas brought commercial proceedings in the market to a halt as traders and passersby fled. After the incident, a trader identified as Muhammad Bashiru described the attack as a surprise as Osaze was known in the market.
“Sometimes, he comes to beg for money for food; we give him between N100 and N200. But he threatened to call hoodlums and people begged him.
“He said a Hausa boy stole three bottles of beer. When he threatened to call his boys, we thought he was joking.
“But later, we saw some boys coming with guns. When the police saw the guns, they started running. We begged the police to assist us with their guns if they intended to run away, but they refused.
“After they (policemen) left, the boys came back and used machetes to attack us. We used planks to defend ourselves. They said they would set our shops ablaze,” he said.
One of the traders who sustained injuries, Muhammed Abdullahi said: “They threw bottles at me. One of them took my phone away.
“The boys came back again and inflicted a deep cut in the head of a man. The man may die because of the amount of blood he lost.”
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police described the incident as a street fight. He said:
“Two people were involved in a street fight with their individual supporters and arrests were made. Two persons were arrested.”