Pandemonium broke out around Agbowo area of Ibadan, yesterday when members of two factional unions of tricycles riders engaged in a bloody clash.
The ensuing melee left in its trail one person dead, some others injured while no fewer than five tricycles were destroyed.
But the Spokesperson of the Oyo State Command of the Nigeria Police Force, Adekunle Ajisebutu while confirming the incident puts the casualty figure at one dead and one injured.
According to sources, the crisis which started around 9.00 a.m saw members of the factional groups chasing one another around the area, brandishing dangerous weapons and ammunition.
The NatI on learnt that the two factional unions named, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Transport Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN) at the Lagos/Ibadan expressway end of the Bodija market were involved in supremacy battle.
The union members, sources also informed, chased themselves through the inner streets of the areas, thus giving room for suspicion that the number of casualties could be more than the figure reported by the police as at the time of filing this report.
The source further hinted that sporadic gunshots rented the air for several minutes before the intervention of Police officers and men of state anti-crime security task force code named Operation Burst swoop on the axis.
The crisis led to many shops, business closing while human and vehicular movement in the axis was completely grounded.
The Chairman, Aare Latosa Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Mr Adekunle Oladeji who visited the scene of the incidence in company of security agencies to restore peace to the area told journalists that the crisis has been on for the past six months, but that the government had always ensured it never got messy until Monday morning.
He said, “I was just informed that there was an ongoing clash between the two factions of tricycles operators- National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Transport Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN). Everything is under control as the Police have arrived the scene of the clashes dispersing the troubling union members.”
When asked on what actually caused the crisis and if the authority was aware of the impending crisis between the unions before the clash, Oladeji said “we have been on it for over six months. This led to the suspension of operations of the two unions on Agbowo axis. To my surprise, I was informed that one of the leaders of one of the factions instructed his boys to start working, an action that infuriated the other faction, that i believe was how the crisis started.”
He added that police has commenced an investigation into the crisis while assuring that government will put in place all necessary measures to ensure that peace is restored to the area.
The Police PRO also added that arrests have been made of the two factions while the State Commissioner of Police Abiodun Odude has ordered a discreet investigation into the mayhem while those arrested would soon be charged to the court upon conclusion of the investigation.