Suspected hoodlums on Monday went on rampage in some parts of Ilorin, he Kwara state capital, throwing the affected areas into panic as they engaged one another in a violent clash.
Unconfirmed reports claimed that the violence, which started on Sunday ight, might have claimed about two lives.
But the spokesman for the police command in the state, Mr. Okasanmi Ajayi, who confirmed the incident, denied any report of casualties.
“I am not aware of any casualty as at yet,” he said, adding that security men had been deployed to the troubled spots and had contained the situation.
He, however, confirmed that one of the hoodlums was stabbed on Sunday night at the Post Office area of the state capital.
Areas mostly affected by the violence were Edun, Emirs Road, Post-Office and its neighbouring streets such as Muritala, Offa Road, Taiwo Isale, etc.
The crisis, according to Blueprint investigations, is linked to the control of ‘rent’ from some Lotto (lottery) operators at a popular motor park in Post Office.
The lotto operators, according to insider sources, used to pay as much as N2, 000 per day to a particular leader of one of the gang groups with base in Idi-Ape area of the state capital.
There are about five lotto operators in the area, it was learnt.
The source, who is familiar with the situation because he has a shop in the vicinity, said: “Unfortunately the guy went on hajj and failed to install someone to manage the operation in his absence and that was how another group cashed in on his absence and began to collect the ‘rent’.
When he came back he tried to take over again but has been unsuccessful.
“They had been on this issue for some time now but it has been underground until Sunday night when they confronted themselves and one of them was stabbed seriously. That is what led to the crisis.”
Another version of the story, according to a newspaper salesman, is that the he heard some hoodlums complaining that they were angry because they were allegedly being disturbed from frolicking at their regular joints in the neighbourhood.