Police in Ondo State have confirmed the death of two persons, following an accident and a clash between the police and residents of Ilaramokin in Ifedore Local Government Area of the state.
Witnesses said trouble began when anti-riot policemen tried to clear a barricade mounted along the Akure-Ilesa expressway by residents protesting the killing of two persons by a commercial bus belonging to the Ondo State Transport Company.
The protesters became more incensed after police officers, who arrived the scene, reportedly shot sporadically into the crowd, killing one person.
Although the accident occurred on Tuesday evening with the resultant blockade of the expressway, the clash with police occurred on Wednesday when the police attempted to clear bonfires and other blockades on the road.
The protest created a gridlock along the ever busy road, completely barring commuters from making any trip along the way.
The vehicle queues extended up to the gate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, resulting in long trekking by students to the campus.
The police public relations officer of the command, Femi Joseph, told PREMIUM TIMES that only two persons actually died in the whole episode, and not five as alleged by residents.
“One died by accident and another was allegedly shot by a police officer on the mission to disperse and quell the rampage.
“Our men went there to clear the blockade, which was mounted by residents of Ilara Mokin over a motorcyclist that was knocked down by a bus belonging to the Ondo State Transport Company.
“The mob burnt down the bus and set bonfires across the road, venting their anger on the occupants’ of the bus and other road users.
“By the time our men got there, the bus had been set ablaze and in trying to clear the road, they descended on our men. The policemen had to scamper for safety, and two of our patrol vans were burnt down.
“We do not shield any erring officer and we are looking into the matter.
“But at the moment, the commissioner of police has met with the leaders of the community and we are ensuring that peace returns to the community.”
It was however gathered that troops from the Nigerian Army have been deployed to beef up security and forestall further breach of the peace at Ilara Mokin.