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Traders lament sealing of shopping complex

By Bimbo Akindunbi
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For several hours last Friday, normal trading activities were stalled at the popular Olukayode Shopping complex in Akure metropolis, as the place was sealed by some traditionalists from Deji of Akure palace following a pandemonium which broke out between some Igbo traders and hoodlums on Thursday evening.

Consequently, shop owners and their customers could not gain entrance into the popular Akure phones ‘trade centre,’ as the place was apparently sealed up with palm leaves , until later in the afternoon.

Our correspondent who was at the premises of the complex, observed that the only main entrance gate was tied with palm fonds, including the entrance to the sandals and jewellery shopping arena, beside the complex.

The usual rowdy complex was calm, devoid of activities until later in the afternoon, when the palm fonts were removed  by the traditionalists, after much pleas by some elders in the complex.

 The Hope observed the shop owners and other traders were  standing in groups discussing the incident which they described as unfortunate for their businesses.

A cross section of the  traders, who spoke with The Hope Metro lamented the loss they had recorded on a day preceding the presidential election.

According to them, those that caused the chaos that led to the closure of the complex were not traders in the complex.

“It all happened on Thursday afternoon. We were doing our normal businesses, when all of a sudden, we heard noise. And before we knew what was happening, there was pandemonium everywhere.

” We just saw some people engaged in a free for all fight in front of the complex. One of them already had a cut on his  head with blood gushing out.

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“It was later we learnt that some boys known as ‘Isolo boys’ had a face-off with some Igbo traders displaying their wares on the road infront of the complex.

” During the fracas, one of those engaged in the scuffle was stabbed on the head with a broken bottle,”she explained.

A female traditionalist who came around to warn people formenting trouble in the vicinity sounded a note of warning that if they did not caution themselves, some of them would be disallowed from displaying their wares around the premises.

The Hope later gathered that some leaders at the Olukayode complex had to plead with the traditionalists before the gates were unlocked.

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