By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
THE popular mechanic village located along Abak Road in Afaha Offot Uyo Local Government Area, of Akwa Ibom State has been shut following the crisis that erupted in area on Friday.
Vanguard gathered that what started as a disagreement ensued between an indigene of the State and an Igbo resident in the Mechanic village, later turned violent, leaving many people to scamper for safety.
Sources around the area told newsmen that trouble started when an Akwa Ibom indigene arrived in the morning, opened his shop and swept the environment and tried to burn the waste close to an Igbo man’s shop.
Many persons sustained serious injuries and are currently receiving treatment, even as different people are giving different version of what actually led to the crisis.
However, one Wisdom Effiong, a mechanic at the market said that a fierce encounter between the duo, eventually degenerated into an ethnic war between the Igbos and the indigenous Akwa Ibom spare parts dealers in the area.
He narrated: “It was when the Akwa Ibom man gathered the heap of wastes and tried to burn it a shot distance from his shop, that an Igbo trader confronted him and ordered that he should not burn the wastes near his shop.
“The Igbo man used sharp object to pierce the Akwa Ibom man on the head forcing angry reaction from other indigenes, who demanded that the culprit, who escaped after the incident be brought out to be handed over to the Police.
“It was when the person could not be produced that the fierce argument degenerated into a serious crisis”
It was gathered that the crisis would have turned bloody but for the intervention of joint team of the Army and the Police drafted to restore calm in the area before the place was shut down.
Meanwhile, in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday the Uyo LG Council Chairman, Dr. Uwemedimo Udo, directed that the mechanic village be shut down.
The statement which was signed by Ubong Udofia the Council Secretary was titled “Uyo Local government shut down mechanic village over Crisis’
It reads: Following the crisis that ensued today, Friday, September 30, 2022 at the Mechanic Village, Afaha Offot in Uyo Local Government Area, the Management of Uyo Local Government Council has ordered the closure of the facility indefinitely.
“This decision of Council is to forestall further break down of law and order within the area.
The Council Chairman, Dr. Uwemedimo Udo, has directed security officials to continue to maintain adequate security around the facility and the entire area until investigations are completed and normalcy returns”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Odiko MacDon, did not respond to calls and text message sent to his GSM at the time of filing this report.