There was a palpable tension today in Umuahia, the Abia State Capital, as people were seen running helter -skelter at the popular Isi-gate area.
Reports have it that two factions of road transport workers who illegally operate a loading bay at the popular Isi gate, clashed and fought over supremacy, as to who will have control over the park where vehicles load and offload passengers going to Owerri.
According to a source who spoke in anonymity, the clash started few days ago, but that of today took a dangerous dimension as the two factions came out with machetes and other dangerous weapons, attacking and cutting themselves.
Their activities caused a serious pandemonium, as traders, commuters as well as passersby scamper for safety, to avoid being wounded in the process.
The Source further disclosed that more tension arose few minutes later when operatives of the various security agencies, from the Nigeria Police Force and the Military, arrived at the area to restore sanity.
“In a bid to restore peace, the Security operatives opened fire and started shooting sporadically into the air to dispel the crowd.”
Explaining further, one of the loaders who also spoke with our correspondent in anonymity, said, ”We have been loading our vehicles here before this other group from Ugba came and wanted to take over our park. My group challenged them and tried to stop them hence the genesis of the fight.”
He called on the government as well as the officials of the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state to intervene so that they can go back to business.
Reacting to issue whether the park they were using as loading bay was illegal, the source said their activities are not illegal, saying that they are known by NURTW.
As at the time of this report, there was heavy presence of the military and police personnel in the area and peace has since returned to the area, as people were seen going about their businesses freely.