Suspected hoodlums on Tuesday morning caused pandemonium in the popular Mandate market when they reportedly engaged in a free-for-all.
Two persons said to be involved in the melee were feared killed.
Tribune Online gathered that the hoodlums suspected to be of both Hausa and Yoruba stocks, engaged in a violent fight over minor trading and bargaining issue over sugarcane, and freely used dangerous weapons such as knives.
It was also learnt that some persons, who sustained stab wounds, had been rushed to the nearby general hospital.
However, there were two accounts on the cause of the incident as some of the traders in the popular food market said that an argument between two persons buying sugarcane led to the fight.
Another version had it that some of the miscreants that usually milled around the market started the fight leading to pandemonium.
Eyewitness account also revealed that commercial activities were halted while the trouble lasted as mobile policemen and men and officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) later arrived to ensure normalcy returned to the market.
Confirming the development, the NSCDC spokesperson in the state, Babawale Afolabi, said that security has been beefed up at the popular Mandate market.
The statement by the command said that "There was a palpable fear and tension on Tuesday when a Hausa man allegedly stabbed a Yoruba man in the head and mouth as the two argued over sales of sugarcane.
"It took the timely arrival of the NSCDC operatives and other security personnel to prevent what could have resulted in a bloody ethnic clash.
"We get a distress call on Tuesday that there was a clash between Yoruba and Hausa at Mandate market and we quickly mobilised our men to the scene in order to prevent total breakdown of law and other.
"Trouble started when a Yoruba man reportedly bought a sugarcane worth N50 naira from Hausa seller but found out that the sugarcane. was not sweet. The Yoruba man’s request to change the sugarcane did not go down well with the Hausa man. The latter was accused of stabbing the Yoruba man and this resulted in free for all fight between Hausas and Yorubas inside the market.
"In the meantime, the Yoruba man who sustained minor knife injury was taken cottage hospital where he is responding to treatment. Meanwhile, there was a large presence of security personnel in and around the market premises to prevent any form of reprisal or further breakdown of law and order.
"The NSCDC Commandant in the State, Iskilu Ayinla Makinde, has been briefed of the incident and has ordered 24 hours surveillance and presence of our armed plain cloth personnel around the market premises and all the flashpoints have also been identified and necessary actions have been taken," he said.