Soldiers on Saturday in Ibadan, Oyo State, reportedly shot a motorcyclist amid the protest against fuel and Naira notes scarcity at the Apata area of the state capital.
The death of the victim followed a clash between suspected hoodlums and security operatives.
The protests had since Friday paralysed activities in Ibadan as placard-carrying youths expressed their grievances on the situation of things in the country.
It was learnt that the corpse of the deceased, who was a member of a vigilance group, had since been deposited at a government hospital for post-mortem.
The Police and sister security agencies had embarked on joint patrols simultaneously across the nook and crannies of the state.
The shooting incident, however, occurred in the early hours of Saturday after soldiers were deployed to the streets across the state.
The mission of the security agencies was to dissuade persons plotting to hijack the protests that rocked different parts of the state on Friday.
It was learnt that the crisis started early Saturday morning when the security operatives arrived at the Apata market junction.
They were said to have met suspected hoodlums who fired gunshots, hurled stones and other dangerous missiles at the security patrol.
Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent Adewale Osifeso, confirmed the development in a statement.
The PPRO said if not for the calmness and professional conduct displayed by the security operatives, the provocation would have led to worse casualty figures.
The police spokesman said, “The Oyo State Police Command wishes to unequivocally re-assert its resolve to maintain the relative tranquillity in the state despite pockets of protests witnessed in some parts of the metropolis under the capital.
“Recall the Command issued an advisory via a press release dated Friday 03/02/2023 with the intent to intimate residents about concluded plans of some criminal elements to destabilize and completely bring to a halt economic activities in the state by launching coordinated attacks on critical infrastructure to include INEC facilities, banks, correctional centres, religious centres, landmarks, recreational centres, shopping malls, business centres, public spaces and other places of interest under the guise of protesting the scarcity of fuel and paucity of cash for dispense at ATMs and Point of Sales Terminals.
“Consequent on the above stated, Oyo State Police Command in concert with relevant sister agencies embarked on high octane joint convoy patrols simultaneously across the nook and crannies of the state with the sole purpose of ridding the environs off undesirable elements with sinister motives of hijacking the situation to make criminal proceeds.
“Today Saturday, 04/02/2023 at about 1015hrs, while embarking on a series of confidence-building patrols around different blackspots and flash points, the joint convoy patrol comprising of the Police and other agencies ran into a band of hoodlums around Apata Junction Market, Apata Area under Ido Local Government Area.
“In a rather surprising event, the hoodlums who had perfected plans to molest residents, harass shop owners and loot shops on sighting the combined convoy of security launched a series of unprovoked attacks by firing guns, hurling stones, sharp objects and other dangerous missiles at them.
“The trained officers, cautious of the level of casualties that might be recorded should they engage at the location, resorted to restraints and professionally took charge at the scene while arresting the situation with reasonable force in line with standard operational procedure.
“However, during the rage, an individual identified to have been a member of a vigilante group and who was reported to have died in the fiasco has since been deposited at a government hospital for post-mortem.
“Meanwhile normalcy has since returned to the area with heavy deployment of patrol teams and other tactical assets visibly on the ground.
“So also, the Commissioner of Police has directed that the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department leads the investigating team with a deadline for results as an arrest was made.”