Kwara shuts major market in Ilorin as hoodlums clash with security operatives
NEWS DIGEST – Kwara ordered the immediate shutting of Mandate Market in Ilorin following Saturday’s skirmishes in the major trading centre.
Commissioner for Business, Innovation and Technology, Malam Ibrahim Akaje, stated in Ilorin on Saturday that the market would be re-opened on Monday.
“Government has restored normalcy to the market after the initial tension and opportunist attacks by hoodlums on peoples’ properties.
“Government hereby directs temporary closure of the market for security reasons pending resolution of some issues that triggered the disturbances.
“Government commends the prompt response of security agencies to distress calls from shop owners. 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,’’ he stated.
Scores of people were injured in the skirmishes as law enforcement agents and suspected shop breakers clashed at the market on Saturday.
Some shop owners had complained to security agencies that petty traders, guards, cleaners or load carriers who resided in the market always broke into the shops in the night.
Police operatives consequently raided the market and arrested some suspects whose kinsmen insisted must be released, a situation which degenerated into the fracas between them and the operatives.
Police operatives had to fire teargas canisters to disperse the mob which had gathered to attack the operatives and shop owners who lodged the complaints.
Following the free-for-all, shop owners quickly closed for business and fled.