The crisis generated by the demolition of the popular Ekeukwu Market by the state government continued yesterday as youths for and against the exercise engaged themselves in a free for all. Vanguard gathered last night that both parties were engaged in a shootout which caused pandemonium in the streets of Owerri.
A source told Vanguard that people ran helter-skelter to avoid being hit by stray bullets. ‘’The shooting was so much that my wife had to run back home in the midst of the confusion caused by the shootout,’’ an eyewitness said yesterday. It was learned that the quick intervention of the police prevented what would have degenerated into a bloodbath. The state Police Commissioner, Christ Ezike, who confirmed the development, said three persons were injured in the clash, adding that they were currently receiving treatment in the hospital. According to him, five vehicles were also destroyed in the clash that further raised tension in Owerri. The police commissioner said his men succeeded in restoring normalcy to the city but said the people were apprehensive about reprisal attack. ‘’We have put measures in place to stop that from happening. The city is calm now and we’ll ensure it remains so,’’ he told Vanguard last night on the telephone.