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Police, drivers clash in Ibadan

There was a commotion in Ibadan on Friday when taxi drivers and policemen clashed in Iwo Road, leaving several people injured.

There were various accounts about what led to the clash with some sources claiming that men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad chased a driver and beat him until he was unconscious.

Another source said the driver hit the vehicle of the policemen and refused to stop or acknowledge his fault.

The source said that angered by the action of the taxi driver, the policemen descended on him and repeatedly hit him with the butt of their guns.

It was gathered that when news of the alleged attack spread to the garage, commercial vehicle drivers mobilised in support of their colleague, which led to a free-for-all as more policemen were also mobilised to the scene.

It was not clear how many people were injured in the clash. Several vehicles travelling towards the route of the clash were seen taking alternative routes, resulting in gridlock in some parts of the city for several hours.

The state’s chairman of the NURTW, Taofeek Oyerinde, said the driver involved has been taken to the hospital for treatment and that officials of the union had paid him a visit.

“The police are our friends. It was a little misunderstanding and we have resolved it.

“It is untrue that there were clashes between the police and our members in some parts of Ibadan on Friday.

“It is also not true that NURTW members and the police engaged in gun duel. The misunderstanding occurred on Thursday evening and it was resolved that same day,” Oyerinde said.

However, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Oyo State Command, Adekunle Ajisebutu, said the clash was as a result of a minor accident, saying that normalcy had returned to the area.

He said a driver and a policeman were injured in the clash and had been taken to hospital for treatment.