Violent clashes erupted on Wednesday in an Abuja market after a truck carrying domestic gas crushed a woman passenger on a commercial motorcycle to death.
The incident, which happened at a building materials market (Timber Market) in the Dei-Dei area of the Federal Capital Territory degenerated into a bloody clash between motorcyclists and Igbo traders.
A resident of the area and witness, who identified herself as Ms Faith, said the clash broke out after the Igbo traders in the area set the motorcycle conveying the deceased on fire.
“The Hausa/Fulani bike men in the area upon hearing the news reacted and started burning tires, destroying shops and attacking people in the area,” she said in a text sent to PREMIUM TIMES.
While Ms Faith was unable to provide details on the number of casualties, there are reports that some people had already been killed before the arrival of soldiers in the area to calm the atmosphere.
Another resident, Temitope Abdulsalam, confirmed that normalcy has been restored to the area but expressed fear of possible reprisal if security operatives leave too soon.
Ms Abdulsalam described the incident as traumatic.
“I just saw smoke in the cloud behind my house, I didn’t even take it seriously. I just thought I was one of those random people burning things until my husband called me to go pick up our daughter that there was unrest happening around,” she said.
We’ve managed the situation – Police
With no reference to the claim on casualties, the FCT Police Command, in a statement, said it has managed the incident to forestall further breakdown of law and order.
The police said it has commenced investigation to “ascertain the cause of the outbreak of violence, sustain the relative peace restored, and affirm the resultant level of damage is ongoing” and will communicate its findings in due time.
“Furthermore, members of the public are urged to shun participating in the promulgation of unverified news about the incident capable of re-igniting the extinguished flame of violence,” the FCT police warned.
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