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Tension as Hausa truck driver kills tricycle rider in A’ Ibom

Isaac Job, Uyo

There is tension in Uyo city as a truck driver loading goods from the North to the popular Itam market killed a tricycle operator over a heated argument.

Our Correspondent gathered that trouble started when the truck driver trying to negotiate space to park for easy off-loading of rice meant for the Yuletide season, was obstructed by a tricycle operator and tables used by traders to display their wares, forcing a traffic jam on the entrance of the market.

Angered by the inability to clear the road, the Hausa truck driver came down from his truck with a matchet with which he dealt a cut on the head of the deceased, who later died due to excess blood loss before getting to the hospital.

Recalling the incident, Akan Bassey, an eye witness, told our Correspondent that the incident happened at about 7:00 pm and lasted for about an hour before Police operatives arrived to restore calm.

“The truck driver was angry because of the refusal by the tricycle operator and business owners to clear their wares on the road for the truck to be properly parked for the rice to be off-loaded. When he alighted from the truck to try and clear the road met stiff resistance, he brought out his matchet and in the process, cut the tricycle man on the head.”

It was learnt the outrage that followed led to the looting of the rice and torching of the truck by hoodlums, leaving dozens of other victims injured, while the whereabouts of the driver remain unknown at the time of filling this report.

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Meanwhile, the market has been shut down and taken over by operatives drafted from the nearby Itam Divisional Police station, even as the fire service men from the state Fire Service have been able to contain the inferno and saved the truck from being completely burnt.

However, worried by the anticipated reprisal, Alhaji Alhassan Sadauki, leader of the Hausa/Fulani community, has sued for peace and appealed to the law enforcement agencies to be pro-active and diligent in containing the crisis from snowballing into a full-scale ethnic war.

“We are appealing for calm while urging security operatives to be diligent in their investigations.” Said Sadauki, who led a delegation of the Hausa/ Fulani community leaders to a truce meeting with the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Itam, at the time of filling this report.

It was learnt the Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr Olatoye Durosinmi, and the Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Odiko Macdon, were in the weekly security meeting as none could pick calls nor respond to text messages to their phones over the incident.

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