by Oseheye Okwuofu,
There were pockets of violence witnessed outside the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan shortly before the inauguration of Engr. Seyi Makinde as Oyo state governor came to a close on Wednesday.
About eight people were reportedly injured when touts suspected to be members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) attack and unleashed violence on the people.
The touts numbering hundreds who orchestrated the violence, were seen at different spots outside the stadium indulging in alcoholic drinks and smoking marijuana (Indian hemp).
The cause of the fight could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report, but eyewitness account said it may not be unconnected with the heavy influence of drugs and alcohol.
The touts who were between the age bracket of 17-28 freely assaulted, the innocent, also damaged vehicles parked alongside road.
Unfortunately, some vehicle owners who parked by roadside, lost their side mirrors, while others suffered lost of other damages on their vehicles.
There was also harassment and intimidation of people who refused to part with money and personal belongings as the touts made forcefully demand cash, phone sets and other personal effects from their victims.
Many who expressed disappointment at the conduct of the touts raised accusing fingers against the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) for allowing their ‘boys’ to unleashed mayhem during the inauguration of Engr. Seyi
Makinde at the Liberty Stadium.
“This is very sad. The leaders of the NURTW should know that an occasion like demands that they caution their members against any act that will bring reproach to them and their union. See, how they are smoking Indian hemp like someone eating food.
“Why should they also take to too much alcohol such that they can no longer control themselves. The government should look into this, and ensure that an event like this must be treated with respect and dignity. What will the visitors say about the safety and security of the state “, a trader at Ogunpa market, Mr. Ayodeji Eso said.
Many shop owners in the city shut down their businesses, to attend the inauguration, while other major markets closed shops as a mark of honour for the new governor.
With the heavy vehicular and human traffic, all roads leading to the Liberty Stadium, venue of the epoch event were closed by security agents to avoid commotion and chaos.
Some areas considered as flash-points around the Liberty Stadium were turn into commercial hub for alcoholic drinks and marijuana (Indian hemp) sellers.
There were also various women groups singing and dancing to traditional drum beats, in a carnival-like atmosphere as they celebrate the inauguration of Engr. Seyi Makinde.