Residents of Opoyosa, Oritamerin, Abebi and Inalende areas of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, fled their shops and homes yesterday for fear of being arrested by policemen, the Nation reports.
This followed an alleged assault on a policeman in the course of his duty on Monday.
It was learnt that policemen started the raid on suspected residents on Monday and continued it yesterday in the affected areas.
To escape arrest, panicky residents fled their shops and homes in droves.
Commercial and private vehicle owners were said to have avoided plying the affected routes out of fear.
When our reporter visited the affected areas, many residents ran away, mistaking him for a detective.
Trouble was said to have started last week when three persons were reportedly killed in a bloody fracas among hoodlums during a yearly carnival in the city.
Many residents reportedly sustained injuries in the mayhem that started last Tuesday night.
It was learnt that the crisis started when a popular Fuji musician visited Gbagi, a thickly populated community, to perform at May 1 Gbagi Day celebration.
A member of the security committee in the area, who spoke in confidence, told reporters that the crisis started when the musician doled out cash to one of the two groups at the celebration.
He said the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the areas, Chief Gbenga Akinyemi, who was appointed by the local government, was not in town when the crisis started.
The committee member said when the CSO was alerted about the unrest, he called the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Mokola to deploy his men in the areas before it spread to other areas.
He said a resident, identified as Hammed Barika, as well as two others were killed in a gun duel with the policemen who were deployed in the area to douse the tension.
“When the hoodlums attempted to overpower the police, they called for reinforcement. In the process, three people among the hoodlums were killed. The two groups were here few hours ago. Those boys are regrouping. They set the house of the CSO ablaze last night (Monday) and they are after his life,” he said.
Another resident said: “We appeal to the security agencies and the state government to come to our rescue because we don’t know what will happen if these boys engage the police again. They are everywhere now.”
A leader of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), who spoke in confidence, said the area had not known peace since the clash occurred.
He said: “Many people were picked even while eating in their homes. Several innocent residents were arrested for nothing. As at yesterday (Monday), I learnt that many innocent persons were arrested on the road. That’s exactly the cause of the trouble here.”
Police spokesman Adekunle Ajisebu, a Superintendent of Police (SP), said he was not aware of the causality, but would contact the DPOs in charge of the affected areas.
He said: “I am not aware of any death. However, there was actually a public disturbance by some hoodlums. The police responded swiftly and restored normalcy. Some arrests were made. The matter is under investigation.”