Wednesday, October 21, 2020 7:44 pm
Despite the imposition of curfew on the state over 72 hours ago, hoodlums have continued to unleash mayhem, disrupt social economic activities in Edo in the guise of #EndSARS protests.
Most of the activities of the hoodlums were in Benin, the capital of the State where youth continue to loot, set ablaze government owned property as they take over the streets.
The State Government and military operatives were also finding it difficult to enforce the curfew imposed on the State.
On Wednesday evening, there was sporadic shooting by military operatives who attempted to disperse market women at Oregbeni Market, located at Ramat Park, Ikpoba Hill, in Benin.
It was gathered that the soldiers who had earlier arrived in three Hilux van, with a megaphone, warned the market women to vacate the market, reminding them that the 24-hour curfew was still in force.
According to somebody who witnessed the sporadic shooting the women appeared to linger than the military operatives could bear.
“I was trekking down from Ring Road when we ran into the soldiers at Ramat Park shooting to disperse the traders. We heard that they arrived at the market about two hours earlier and warned the traders to pack and go back home. They shooting when it appears that the women were not in a hurry to leave the market,” the source added.
Another eyewitness, an old woman, told our reporter that she was buying food stuff, when the military operatives opened fire. She said: “I was buying food stuff when they started shooting. Everyone had to hurriedly leave the market.”
Meanwhile, there was tension at nearby Oregbeni police station when hoodlums attempted to burn down the station, at about 2 pm.
Operatives of the station were said to have engaged the youths who numbered over 50 in a gun battle, in defence of the station.
Gun shots rented the air on Agbor Road where the police station is located, while residents and other road users scampered for safety.
Our correspondent recalled that the youths had mobilized to the station after some security operatives coming from Asaba end of the road, shot sporadically to disperse protesters at Jehovah Junction.
Two persons were hit by the bullets. One who was hit on the leg was rushed in a black Toyota Corolla to unknown destination for treatment.
The incident infuriated the youths who vowed to retaliate by razing the nearest [Oregbeni] police station.
There was also pandemonium as anti-riot policemen had to shoot sporadically to disperse #EndSARS protesters along Benin/Agbor Road, by Winners Church.
The incident which occurred at ab 10.30 am, caused commotion and panic among residents of the area.
It was gathered that the security operatives who were heading in the direction of Agbor, ordered the protesters who blocked the road to open the way for them, but met stiff resistance.
They were said to have shit severally to disperse the crowd of protesters who scampered in various directions.
Not satisfied, the police operative descended on a black-colored Lexus RX330 with registration number Edo: AKA 235 RZ, parked beside the road, in front of the Winners Church.
They were said to have shattered the side windows and the front and back wind shield, shot the four tyres of the vehicle to demobile it.
They were also said to have looted everything contained in the vehicle, including a power generating set, musical equipment and other things used by the protesters for their carnival processions.
Moments after the policemen left the scene with their loots, the protesters mobilized back to the same spot with more men joining them.
When our correspondent visited the scene of the incident, four expended bullets were found at the front tyre of the vehicle, with a visible hole bored by one of the bullets on the alloy rim of the car.
But the protesters who were driven away by the policemen later mobilise more men and regroup to again mount barriers to block the road.
Not long after, a Hilux van containing about six Air force personnel dressed in combat uniform drove into the road block from the Ramat Park side of the road.
The angry protesters defied warnings from the security operatives, blocked their way, forcing them to a halt.
Not done, some of the angry youths jumped onto the back cabin of the van, while others smashed the front wind shield of the vehicle.
Some cool-headed persons however came and prevailed on the irate youths, telling them that the police is their common enemy and not the Airforce men.
The security operatives who conducted themselves calmly, had no option than to drove down, make a u-turn and went back to the direction of the town.