In Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, reports are that traders and street hawkers went on a rampage and destroying government properties in the process, as their way of registering their dissatisfaction with the actions of the task force.
It was reported that the incident took place on Wednesday when the traders resisted attempts by officials of the Ministry of Works to restrain them from displaying their wares along the roads.
The traders considered the action of the task force a “disturbance,” and an attempt to deny them of their yuletide season’s profit.
As reported, they also engaged in street protests, bonfires, and even vandalizing the office of the Commissioner for Works, Funmi Ogun.
According to Premium Times, it was gathered that trouble began when early on Wednesday morning, officials of the ministry, popularly called “Dagrin,” prevented street trading in the city by arresting and seizing wares of many who had displayed them on the streets.
The move angered the traders who reacted by vandalizing properties in sight, shattering windows and doors of government offices.
Ms. Ogun was said to have narrowly escaped the wrath of the protesters, who were obviously looking out for her.
“The task force should realize that this is festive period, Christmas is just four days while new year is less than two weeks,” one of the protesters who would not want his name mentioned, explained while speaking to journalists.
“And it is at this time that selling, especially on the streets booms. So, they ought to allow us to do our business now.
“Many of us have market stalls in the demolished markets and are awaiting spaces in the new Oja-Oba market under construction.
“We cannot afford to go and get shops now as that would be too expensive. So they should pardon us for this time. At least, we have obeyed them all along before now.
It was reported that the Anti-riot policemen were, dispatched to the scene of protest to ensure calm. They fired tear gas to disperse the protesters.
The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, who went to the scene of the incident appealed to the protesters to stay calm as the government would look into the cause of the problem.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti State Command, Alberto Adeyemi, stated that they arrested three suspects for vandalizing government property.
He however said the situation had been brought under control and residents were freely going about their businesses.
Written by Okolo Ezinne