Irate commercial motor cycle operators, popularly known as Okada riders, Sunday afternoon, burnt a police patrol vehicle in Makurdi, Benue State capital, after one of their members was allegedly crushed to death by a car belonging to the police.
It was gathered that the police patrol team was on a routine assignment few metres from the Makurdi Federal Secretariat, when the vehicle accidentally hit the commercial motorcycle rider, and he died instantly.
According to an eyewitness, “the police patrol Peugeot car was carrying police officers, who were on routine patrol, when they crushed the okadaman to death. His (female) passenger, a staff of Benue State University Teaching Hospital, sustained a fracture.
“What angered the people was that police refused to take the victims to hospital despite being responsible for the accident. Few minutes later, sympathisers called officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, who took both the dead and injured to the hospital.
“It was the careless attitude of the Police that sparked the angry reactions from other okada riders, who mobilised and burnt the patrol vehicle and also attempted to match to the nearby ‘B’ Division Police station in the area.
“However, their move was checked, as policemen fired tear-gas canisters to disperse the angry youths.”
Vanguard reports that though calm had returned to the community, police had drafted personnel to the area to maintain the peace.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent Moses Yamu, who confirmed the incident, said peace had returned to the area.