Rotimi Agboluaje, Ibadan
Oyo State Command of the Nigeria Police Force has arrested 46 suspects in connection with a violent clash unleashed on Oke-Ado in Ibadan by two factions of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC).
Many residents of Oke-Ado and its environs ran in confusion on Monday morning as the groups engaged each other in a fierce battle, using guns, charms and other dangerous weapons. One person was said to have lost his life during the clash.
Though the crisis was said to be between a faction known as New Era of OPC and the other purportedly loyal to Gani Adams faction, one of the sources in Oke-Ado, however, stated that the fracas was caused by two gangs of hoodlums, that have been terrorising the Oke-Ado, Born Photo, Isale Osi, Oopoyeosa and their environs.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the Oyo State Command, Mr. Adekunle Ajisebutu, a Superintendent of Police (SP), said police had instituted investigation into the crisis, saying the cause of the crisis and the groups that masterminded it would be revealed by the investigation.
He disclosed that the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abiodun Odude, visited the scene on Monday and has directed the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (CIID) to investigate the incident, assuring residents of the affected area of adequate security.
Odude was said to have stormed the area with more than 40 policemen that combed the areas where the incident took place and arrested the hoodlums in their hideouts in Oke-Ado area.
“Forty six suspects have been arrested. Normalcy has since been restored following prompt deployment of policemen to the scene.
“The CP, Abiodun Odude, personally visited the scene where he assured residents of adequate protection. He has directed that the CIID should commence discreet investigation into the incident”, the police spokesperson said.
Odude said during the visit to the scene of the incident that his men were poised for a showdown with the hoodlums, stressing that those that had been arrested would be arraigned in court soon.
The two groups reportedly engaged each other in a battle of supremacy, which led to looting of some shops in the area and destruction of property worth millions of Naira. The clash was said to have started on Saturday.
A source said there are different angles to the perennial crisis along Oke-Ado axis, adding “but this particular one was purely between two factional OPC groups; New Era and a faction loyal to Otunba Gani Adams.
“At the weekend, a state chairman living around Oke-Ado went to a party and accused a member of the other faction of not paying homage to him. This accusation resulted into confrontations between the two groups, each justifying their stand.
“Surprisingly, on that occasion, the two factions used dangerous weapons to press home their demands. The New Era group seems to have had the upper hand. So, by weekend, the other group unleashed their strength on the New Era group, hitting them down to Oredein, Akuro down areas.
“As I learnt, early this morning, the New Era group determined to revenge, took the war straight to the state chairman’s domain, decided to strike.”