Atleast one person has been reported to have died and scores of others injured during defunct National Union of Roads and Transport Workers (NURTW) otherwise known as park managers and mobile phone dealers clashes on Iwo road, Ibadan in Oyo State.
During the clashes that lasted for several minutes with one of the deceased victims identified Ramoni, it was gathered that several vehicles owned by the mobile phone dealers were vandalized and goods worth millions of naira destroyed.
The major reasons for the face-off between them were unknown as many gave different reasons for the fight that was said to have occurred at the time when the head of Oyo state Motor park managers, Lamidi Mukaila, popularly called Auxiliary was within the axis, joining in mediating between parties.
It was gathered that a son of the owner of the shopping complex in Iwo Road who was allegedly killed was coming to park his car in front of his mother’s complex but some members of the defunct NURTW had already parked their vehicles at the parking lot.
Eyewitnesses further claimed that the brawl ensued following an altercation between the tenants in the complex and the members of NURTW, a development, which degenerated into chaos, forcing many shop owners and traders to flee the scene.
The Guild learnt that members of the defunct NURTW later regrouped and launch a fresh attack on the shopping complex, in retaliation of the attack made by the traders.
Other residents that witnessed the clashes narrated that some students of an unidentified higher institution in Ibadan had a few days ago came to the complex to buy a mobile and later came back on Wednesday to return the phone over a complaint that it was not functioning properly.
The seller of the phone was said to have refused to change it, claiming that the phone was in good condition when he sold it to one of the students a few days ago.
According to them, this led to an argument, which snowballed into a violent clash that resulted in the death of two persons. Some policemen, members of Operation Burst, and Amotekun Security Corps were later moved to the scene to restore normalcy.
Reacting to the incident, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Park Management System (PMS) in Oyo State, Emiola Jelili, denied the involvement of park managers in the violence, saying “it was a clash between some students and phone sellers in a shopping complex.”
“It is very ridiculous and unfortunate that if any clash happens in Iwo Road area, some people always attribute it to park managers. This is quite unfair. None of our members is involved in the violence. I can say this with all authority, ” he stated.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Adewale Osifeso, who confirmed the clashes, claimed that it was untrue that deaths were recorded during the clash, saying, “it is true there was a crisis but nobody died. Our men are already in Iwo road and they are maintaining law and order.”