There was a pandemonium on Tuesday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, as officials of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) and commercial motorcyclists popularly called Okada riders operating at Agodi-Gate, clashed.
The clash led to the burning of the Idi Ogungun Police Outstation by some angry youths, while another police station opposite the centre was reportedly damaged.
Trouble was said to have started when officials of the correctional service insisted that the commercial motorcyclists, who plied Iwo-Road-Bashorun-Akobo axis, would not be allowed to park at the frontage of the prison yard.
It was gathered that what started as a mere warning, later erupted in a fracas when the motorcyclists defied the order.
Sources said the warders had to use teargas canisters to scare the motorcyclists.
Sources said two persons were feared killed during the crisis, but neither the correctional service nor the police confirmed the casualties at press time.
While the crisis lasted, shop owners, traders and business operators shut down for fear of being attacked. Commuters and other road users ran helter-skelter.
A source said: “We have to hurriedly close our shops. Some of us ran away, while some closed their shops while still inside the shops.”
NCS Oyo State Command’s spokesman Olanrewaju Anjorin confirmed the clash, but said peace has been restored.
Police spokesman Olugbenga Fadeyi in a statement denied media reports accusing the police of being behind the crisis.
He said: “Contrary to the current trending news online that policemen fired shots, leading to injury at Agodi Gate this morning (yesterday morning), the truth is that there was a clash between officers of the correctional service and Okada riders stationed at Agodi Gate.
“Upon receipt of this information, policemen as well as other security agencies moved to the scene to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order that could lead to coordinated attack on the prison facility.
“Policemen fired no shot. Further development will unfold and be communicated later.”