Officials of the Rivers State taskforce against illegal motor parks and street trading on Thursday clashed with military personnel at the popular Ikoku junction in Port Harcourt City Local Government area of the state.
The clash led to destruction of businesses and injuries on some roads side traders who were caught up in clash.
Trouble started when members of the taskforce threw away a cooler of food belonging to a food vendor from whom a soldier had bought a plate of food.
The action of the taskforce officials provoked the soldier who shot into the air to express his anger.
The taskforce members later mobilized over ten Hilux trucks loaded with taskforce officials and heavily armed security men who stormed the area and started shooting to scare the traders who almost became violent.
Narrating how the fight started, a food vendor who at the Ikoku flyover, said she was “attending to a military officer attached to the company handling the flyover when suddenly men of the taskforce arrived and started destroying my goods and this is the only thing I use in feeding my family. I don’t know what their anger is”.
Other traders whose goods were destroyed, expressed sadness over of the “attitude of members of the taskforce”.
They also accused the security officers attached to the taskforce of being responsible for the crisis and asked Governor Nyesom Wike to call them to order.
One of them said “You can see the police are ordering them to stone bottle. What is the work of the police, to settle the issue but the police are the one telling them to stone bottles.”
The management of the taskforce has declined comment on the matter.