Hoodlums suspected to be arsonists in the early hours of yesterday burnt down no fewer than 30 shops and houses located along the popular Beere-Molete road in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
The affected shops and houses included those located at Idi-Arere, Bode and Alleluyah petrol station, all in the heart of the ancient city.
An affected resident said the incident occurred at midnight when many of the residents were still sleeping. He said the hoodlums stormed the areas and burnt all the shops and houses located along the road.
“It is not up to Popoyemoja, it was only at Idi-Arere, Bode up to Alleluyah petrol station. It is a case of arson. They burnt houses and shops too. It was when we woke up in the morning that we saw everything. Though, I can’t count the number of shops, but it was a stretch from that junction up to Alleluyah petrol station. We are talking of about 15 shops on this side and another 15 shops on the other side,” he said.
Another resident queried the claim by the state government that there is peace in the state. He said: “The state government said there is security, but as you can see, the CCTV is not in Idi-Arere, the one at Beere cannot capture up to Oja-Oba. The one at Molete cannot capture up to Idi-Arere”.
Meanwhile, normalcy has returned to Idi-Arere area of Ibadan after a gang violence that erupted in the area.
The Oyo State Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), SP Adekunle Ajusebutu, while phoning in on a radio program monitored on Sunday in Ibadan to clarify the cause of the gang clash, said 11 suspects have been arrested in connection with the clash, adding that peace has been restored to the area.
Ajisebutu said the state police command was concerned with the recent destruction of property by the unguided miscreants, noting that necessary security arrangement had been put in place to ensure that peace reign in the area.
“The Oyo State Commissioner of Police, CP Abiodun Odude, has directed massive deployment of policemen to the scene of the incident, and no fewer than 11 suspects have been arrested along with the principal suspect.
“The CP has directed that all the suspects arrested should be charged to court immediately after the conclusion of their investigation, while there would be 24 hours surveillance in the affected places,” he said.
The police spokesman noted that though the police are yet to determine the actual cause of the gang clash, the remote and immediate cause of the clash will be revealed at the end of police investigation.
He also debunked rumours that 30 shops, including houses was set ablaze with fire, noting that only few shops were affected. He, however, urged members of the public to cooperate with the police, adding that the security of their lives and property is guaranteed.