At least, three persons have been reportedly killed as traders and youths at Ekeukwu market in Owerri, the Imo State capital, Saturday clashed with security operatives over state government’s order for the relocation of the market.
The incident which occurred this morning when the state government moved into the market with security operatives to carry out the order, saw the demolition of many shops.
The situation escalated when one of the protesters, a young man, was hit and killed by a stray bullet fired by security operatives deployed to maintain order in the melee which ensued after the demolition.
But the State Commissioner of Police has interfered in the matter to restore peace.
The market relocation has been a major issue between the Imo state government and traders of the market as well as some indigenes of Owerri who see the location of the market as their ancestral home.
The traders rejected the move and have taken the state government to court over the issue.
Yesterday, the Imo state Governor issued a press statement signed by the Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, Kingsley Uju, stating that traders in the market should move out within 48 hours after the release of the statement.