Forty-eight hours after hoodlums clashed in some areas of the ancient city, the Oyo State Police Commissioner Abiodun Odude yesterday visited the palace of the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, suspected louts and other hoodlums from Foko and Itamaya launched what they called Operation No Mercy against their rival groups at Oke-Ado in Ibadan, burgling shops, carting away goods and destroying properties in the process.
Odude, who visited the monarch after inspecting the affected areas, such as Oke-Ado, Foko, Apena, Gege, Isale Osi, Born Photo, Oopoyeosa and Popoyemoja, warned various youth groups terrorising Ibadan, the state capital, to embrace peace or face the wrath of the law.
The police chief said the 18 suspects arrested for disturbing public peace in Ibadan, the state capital, would soon be charged to court.
In the melee, several persons were injured from gunshots, machete cuts, stabbing with knives and broken bottles.
Property estimated at millions of naira were also destroyed.
The police chief warned parents to caution their children against affray.
Oba Adetunji prayed for God’s protection for policemen in the discharge of their duties.
The frontline monarch said he had been briefed on the fracas and summoned the family heads (mogajis) of the affected communities and their environs to an emergency meeting with a view to finding a lasting solution to incessant mayhem in volatile areas of the city.
According to him, the number of suspects arrested in connection with the mayhem has risen from 14 to 18, saying: “We are screening them and we will charge them to court.”
The crisis reportedly commenced on Tuesday night and lasted till Wednesday morning before police restored normalcy to the area.
According to accounts, the hoodlums burgled some homes, destroyed some shops and other property estimated at millions of naira.
Oba Adetunji said weapons, such as guns, cutlasses, cudgels and broken bottles were reportedly used during the fight.
Odude said: “It was just a breach of the peace. The ‘Area Boys’ tried to be funny with themselves. But we thank God, they did not kill anybody, and they did not even kill one another.
“We have been on this matter for three days, persistently, day and night. The ‘Area Boys’ would just come out, attack one another and withdraw. We have been on their necks.
“We have visited the scenes to see what is going on and see if we can identify the leaders, talk to them and make sure we keep this town as peaceful as possible. We are not going to give any of these boys a chance. Anyone of them we get, we’ll deal with him according to the law.
“Residents of the affected areas and other parts of Oyo State should just live peacefully. We are on top of the situation.
“But parents should appeal to their children not to get involved in crimes, irrespective of the situation. Unemployment is not an excuse for going into crimes. If children get involved in crimes, it can lead to something bigger than this.”