At least five persons were on Wednesday stabbed when the indigenes of Owerri Municipal Council clashed with thugs allegedly brought from the Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of the state to enforce the demolition of the Owerri main market.

The clash caused panic in the state capital, causing people, including motorists, to run for their lives.

Motorists abandoned their vehicles, even as shop owners also fled to safety, abandoning their shops.

According to eyewitnesses, trouble started when the indigenes started exchanging words with the thugs.

The argument, our correspondent gathered, degenerated into a free for all.

A resident who simply gave her name as Chika said, “One person was stabbed in my presence. He was stabbed in his head. I had to run for my life, abandoning the things I bought.”

She disclosed that the warring groups were using knives and other weapons of destruction against one another.

The clash, our correspondent gathered, extended to Wethereal road, Control Post roundabout, and some parts of Port Harcourt road.

It took the efforts of the operatives of the state police command, led by the Commissioner of Police himself, Chris Ezike, for normalcy to return.

In order to disperse the warring youths, police had to use teargas canisters on them.

When our correspondent contacted the CP on Wednesday evening, he said, “I am in operation at control post roundabout. I can’t hear you.”

Speaking to our correspondent on Thursday, Ezike said five persons were wounded during the clash.

According to him, it was a clash between the youths who were in support of the market demolition and those against it,  saying that he had to reinforce and deploy more men for safety to return to the state capital.

Ezike asserted that the state was safe and ready for the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

Punch

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