The Kwara State Government has ordered the shutdown of the Mandate Market in Ilorin, the state capital, following Saturday morning’s skirmishes in the major trading centre.
The market will be re-opened on Monday from 8 am, according to a statement in Ilorin by the Honourable Commissioner for Business, Innovation and Technology, Mallam Ibrahim Akaje.
xandertech reports that there were conflicting causes of the fracas as the state police command spokesman, Okasanmi Ajayi, claimed that it broke out between tomatoes and pepper traders, while the spokesman of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, Ayeni Olasunkanmi, reported that trouble broke out when a group of people of Northern origin demanded the release of their kinsmen arrested for alleged burglary of shops in the market complex at night.
In the clash which ensued between the police and the Hausa group, scores were injured forcing the police operatives to fire tear gas to bring the situation under control.
The state Police Commissioner, Paul Odama, dispatched teams of police operatives to the market to ensure maintenance of law and order.
“Even though the government has restored normalcy to the market after the initial tension and opportunist attacks by hoodlums on people’s properties, the government hereby directs temporary closure of the market for security reasons pending resolution of some issues that had triggered the disturbances,” the statement by the Commissioner for Business, Innovation and Enterprise added.
He said “the government commends the prompt response of the security agencies to the distress calls. We warn against further trouble from any quarters. The market and activities of everyone involved therein are regulated by laws, which must be respected by all.
“The market will be reopened on Monday while efforts have begun to resolve all pending issues.”