The Oyo State Government has closed down the famous Bodija Market, following the fight between Police and butchers in the state on Thursday, which culmnated in the exchange of gunshots at the market.
The official Twitter handle of the Oyo State Government, @oyostategovt, confirmed the incident in a tweet quoting the Chairman of Aare Laatosa Local Council Development Area, Adekunle Oladeji, as saying the shutdown of the market became necessary as a result of the damage to lives and properties.
“It is also to guard against the escalation of violence in the market to other parts of the state,” Oladeji said.
An Ibadan resident had earlier confirmed to SaharaReporters that there was trouble at the market, saying: "Bodija Market is on fire. Butchers and policemen are exchanging gunshots."
The Oyo State government recently ordered the butchers to vacate the market and move to a new abattoir on the outskirts of the state. However, the butchers refused to obey the directive. Instead, they protested at the state secretariat in Ibadan on Tuesday, urging the government not to go on with the demolition of the abattoir.
The clash, which occured on Thursday, was caused by the allegation by some butchers in the market that their leaders had collected some "tips" from the government to support its decision. The clash became so intense that some traders were forced to vacate the market.
Adekunle Ajisebutu, Public Relations Officer of the Oyo State Police Command, said a statement will be released to explain the whole event.