Several individuals sustained injuries during a clash between policemen and suspected burglars at Mandate market in Adewole, Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State capital on Saturday.

According to reports, some shop owners in the market had complained to security agencies about petty traders, guards, cleaners or load carriers who reside in the market, breaking into shops at night at will.

Following these complaints, policemen from the market police post raided the market, resulting in the arrest of some of the suspected burglars, who were reportedly youths from the northern part of the country. However, their leaders insisted that they be released, leading to a fracas.

Pandemonium broke out in the market, and the police reportedly fired tear gas canisters to disperse the mob, who had gathered to attack policemen and shop owners who lodged complaints with the police.

As a result of the clash, shop owners closed for business and fled the area, while motorists plying the mandate market route from Al-Hikma-University Road and those from Garin Alimi to Mandate quickly made a detour to avoid being caught up in the incident.

Security operatives including the police and operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were quickly deployed to the market to restore calm.

The spokesman of the NSCDC in the state, Ayeni Olasunkanmi, confirmed that the fracas was an aftermath of a raid earlier carried out by law enforcement officers in the market.

“The issue there at the market was an aftermath of a raid carried out by the Nigeria Police in the market due to complaints from the marketers that some shop breakers used to operate inside the market at night.

“Some of the suspects arrested are Hausas and their people are insisting that the police should release them.

“The situation there is under control. Other sister agencies are there to ensure that the situation is calm”, he said.

Okasanmi Ajayi, spokesperson for the Kwara State Police Command, also said that the breach of public order at the market was triggered by “a misunderstanding between two groups of tomato and pepper sellers in Mandate Market, which led to a fight.”

He went on to say that the Commissioner of Police in Kwara State, CP Paul Odama, had despatched teams of officers to the location, and that peace was eventually restored.

“No casualties on the sides of the marketers or the police has been recorded as of now,” Ajayi said.