A violent clash between a group of Hausa and Yoruba youths over the invasion of Sabo market by masquerades in Akure, the Ondo state capital, on Sunday led to the destruction of goods and properties worth millions of naira.
No fewer than six motorcycles and three vehicles and at least, three houses were razed during the clash, Sahara Reporters can report.
Also, not less than six persons were wounded in the in the clash, even as hoodlums also used the opportunity to loot many shops in the environment.
The violent clash, which started around 5 pm, spread to the adjoining streets of Ima'gun and Araromi areas of Akure resulting in pandemonium among traders.
Commercial and business activities were grounded during the brawl, which lasted for almost two, and half-hours.
Ibrahim Idris, one of the Hausa youths who confirmed that many shops were looted during the violent clash said the problem began when some masquerades were led into the market by some Yoruba youths.
"We were sitting here and transacting our business when some of the Yoruba boys led their Masquerades into Sabo market.
"And while they were all walking into the Sabo market, they began to beat and flog us with the canes in their hands.
"As if that was not enough, many of them forced their way to our shops and looted our goods while hurling abuses on us.
"In fact, they entered one of the mosques and started molesting those praying and that was how the violent fight started," Idris said.
Tunji Ayobami, a dealer in recharge cards at the market, also confirmed that the clash resulted from the invasion of the market by some masquerades.
Ayobami narrated how the violent clash started between the warring youth: "The fight started around 5 pm when the boys led the Masquerades from Ugele on Ado road into the Sabo Market in Akure.
"The plan was to lead the masquerades to greet one of the Akure Chiefs known as Chief Elejoka as parts of tradition inside the Sabo market.
"But things became twisted when they entered into Sabo with the masquerades and the Hausas were moving on with their businesses without any fear.
"This infuriated the Yoruba boys leading the masquerades as they began to beat and flog anyone (mostly Hausa) in sight.
"One of the Hausas was angered by the beating and decided to pull off the mask of one of the masquerades and this led to a heavy fight and violent clash".
Meanwhile, security operatives have been drafted to the Sabo market and the adjoining streets in order to restore normalcy and avoid reprisal attacks.
Major Ojo Adelegan, the spokesperson of the 32 Artillery Brigade of Nigerian Army, Akure said the situation has been brought under control
Adelegan who led armed security operatives to the scene of the clash told a Sahara Reporters correspondent that the Army will join other security agencies to beef up security in the area.
"As you can observe, we have just assessed the level of damages and carry out an on-the-spot assessment of the whole situation.
"This operation is being supported by the Army, Police and NSCDC officers and we shall beef up security and get to the root of this matter," he said.
Femi Joseph, the spokesperson of the Ondo State Police command also confirmed the violent clash and added that no one has been arrested yet.
Mr. Joseph said the police was already working with the sister security agencies to ensure that peace reigns in the area.