by Success Nwogu
An unidentified policeman was feared killed, while no fewer than 50 motorcycles (okadas) were destroyed in Ilorin, Kwara State, on Wednesday.
The tragedy was as a result of a crisis between residents of Abayawo and Dada communities in Ilorin West Local Government Area.
Trouble was said to have started when a dog belonging to a hunter from Dada community was killed by a car driven by a member of Abayawo community.
Our correspondent learnt that an argument ensued between the unnamed hunter and the driver, which became violent. Members of the two groups later joined in the clash.
No fewer than 50 motorcycles were reportedly burnt in the ensuing fracas and pandemonium.
Pupils in the area were said to have abandoned schools and rushed to their homes while commercial activities were paralysed.
The usually busy Abayawo-Okelele Road was deserted as many policemen stormed the troubled area. The police disallowed vehicular movements.
Some of the residents, who spoke with PUNCH Metro, accused the police of burning the motorcycles and raiding their houses.
An elderly man, Alhaji Baba Asileke, who spoke on behalf of Abayawo residents, alleged that the police attacked innocent residents.
He appealed to the government to assist them as he lamented their losses.
“Our motorcycles were burnt as you can see, and we don’t know why they resorted to attacking us when we are not the ones fighting.
“They entered our houses, collected phones belonging to our wives and even beat them up”, he said.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Kwara State command, Mr. Okasanmi Ajayi, confirmed the crisis but said the police officer was only injured.
He added that policemen drafted to maintain law and order in the area conducted themselves in a professional manner and did not engage in any misconduct.