About five persons have been reported killed when the Nigerian Army personnel clashed with bus drivers in Ilesha-Baruba motor park in the Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State.
The cause of the misunderstanding was said to be over an alleged N100 bribe which the soldiers, which mounted a roadblock in the area, demanded from the bus drivers.
It was learnt that the crisis started on Friday after a bus driver on Ilesha-Sinawu Road refused to part with N100 for the soldiers, and an argument ensued.
SaharaReporters learnt that in the course of the argument, the soldiers slapped him and he angrily left, came back and mobilised his other colleagues from the motor park.
After that, the soldiers opened fire on the drivers and five persons were feared dead, while several others were injured.
An eyewitness noted that the soldiers had been notorious for extorting money from the bus drivers and the altercation ensued because the drivers could not take the harassment any longer.
“Friday was the market day, and people came from several neighbouring areas to Sinawu for trade. Vehicular movements from and outside Sinawu area were so high. So, the soldiers had a field day collecting money from drivers.
“The soldiers on the Ilesha-Baruba highway, which is a distance of 25 minutes, were found extorting commercial vehicles which ply the road, ranging from N100 to N500 depending on what you are carrying. It was while extorting one of the commercial vehicles that the incident happened.
“The driver refused to give the soldiers N100, and they slapped him several times. He then reported them to the motor park, and his colleagues came to question the soldiers. That was how the soldiers shot at them,” the witness, Abdul Ganiyu, narrated.
“The altercation led to the shooting of no fewer than five persons who are feared dead as we speak while others were injured. The soldiers have also fled from the scene,” another witness added.