‘Street hawkers, urchins responsible for Kwara protest’

The Kwara State Police Command yesterday blamed street hawkers and urchins for Wednesday’s violence in Ilorin, the state capital.

Police Commissioner Peter Gana told reporters in Ilorin that some unnamed people recruited the protesters.

He said the law prohibiting street hawking was still in force.

Gana said his men would enforce the law to prevent urchins and hawkers from being used to foment trouble.

Scores of youths in the state, on Wednesday, protested over the non-completion of the Ilorin-Ajase-Ipo road in Offa.

They accused the government of allegedly abandoning the 2.5 kilometre road, which has been under rehabilitation for about a year.

Economic and social activities were paralysed for several hours in Ilorin.

It was learnt, however, that the contractor handling the road resumed work at the site yesterday.

The project consultant, Alhaji Bashir Lawal, had said the contractors were to resume work on the N989 million project on Wednesday.

He said government had paid the contractors N363 million as mobilisation, adding that their second certificate for payment has been approved.

Lawal dismissed claims that work was abandoned because of non-payment.

Many people, including a policeman, were said to have been injured during Wednesday’s protest.

Eyewitnesses said angry youths, as early as 6.30am, barricaded major and link roads to the Offa Garage – Ajase Ipo road with bricks and blocks.

Bonfires dotted the road from Michael Imoudu Labour Studies Institute junction to Ola-Olu/ Stella Obasanjo axis.

Anti–Riot policemen were later called in to restore order.

They fired teargas to disperse the protesters.

A man was allegedly attacked and his camera broken.

Governor Bukola Saraki appealed to residents for patience as effort was being intensified to complete the road.

There were unconfirmed reports of casualties, but the command’s spokesman Ezekiel Daboh said he was yet to receive reports of casualties.

This entry was posted in resistance and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.