Residents of Isale-Osi, Born Photo and Gidarami areas of Ibadan, Oyo State have fled their homes as more than 20 shops, three houses and several vehicles were destroyed when gang members engaged in a free-for-all.
PUNCH reported that the clash began on Sunday and continued on Monday as residents fled their homes.
A witness said many of the suspected hoodlums sustained machete injuries, while others were stabbed with knives and broken bottles.
The witness, who is also a resident of the area, said the clash was caused by the death of a notorious gang leader, who was said to have been killed by members of the rival group during a party in the area last week.
“The gangs are from Popoyemoja and Born Photo areas in Ibadan. One of the leaders of the gang was killed last week at a party. His members alleged that he was killed by a rival group and they planned to avenge his death. They came on Sunday night; but it was not a serious clash.
“On Monday, they returned and a fight broke out between the two groups. They started burning shops and destroying vehicles and houses. They used guns, knives, machetes, broken bottles and other dangerous objects in the fight. Several members of the gangs were injured. We had to flee the area for fear of being caught up in the fight. They targeted any house where any member of the rival cult lived in. My sister’s shop was burnt, with goods worth thousands of naira destroyed. As they unleashed mayhem, they sang war songs,” said the witness, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
He added that when the targeted rival members fled, the hoodlums refused to leave, targeting relatives of their perceived enemies.
A member of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Kehinde Subair, was said to have earlier visited scenes of the clash.
The Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Odude, who confirmed the mayhem, said some arrests had been made and that normalcy had returned to the areas.
“Two rival groups fought in the areas, but normalcy has returned.
“We made some arrests and investigation is ongoing. Police will not tolerate activities of hoodlums in the state.
“Our men are still on the ground to forestall further clash and disturbance in the areas by the groups,” he said.