There was pandemonium at the Trans Amadi area of Port Harcourt on Thursday as truck drivers allegedly beat and stabbed personnel of the Rivers State task force on street trading to death.
Theportcitynews gathered that a squabble between the drivers who were mostly Northerners and the task force team led to the death of task force personnel while carrying out their official duties.
The victim identified as Mr. Promise Eligbu Ordu but popularly known Orija died before he was rushed to the hospital.
Bright Amaewhule, the coordinator of the task force did not immediately respond to inquiries for comments.
However, eyewitnesses told Theportcitynews that the truck drivers took the task force personnel unawares when the task force team engaged one of them in war words over the manner they had parked their trucks.
The eyewitnesses said an attempt by the task force to muscle one of the drivers led to the retaliation by others who beat Mr Ordu and stabbed him on the process.
It was gathered that police officers from the Trans Amadi police station moved into the area to forestall further break down of law and order. Some of the truck drivers were also arrested by the police team.
Tension between the Hausa community and the Task Force officials heightened following the alleged killing of a Hausa trader by the Task Force team at the Presidential Hotel axis of Port Harcourt in February.
Northerners who change money at the presidential hotel area rioted over alleged killing of their colleague by personnel of the State Task Force.
The rioters blocked one lane of the Rumuola – Presidential road, threatening to go violent on the personnel of state task force.
It was gathered the victim, a septuagenarian man, was killed when the task force personnel stormed the area.
He was reportedly arrested but was brought back dead and dumped along the road.
However, Amaewhule denied the killing of the Hausa man by his men.
He said during a radio program that the man was charged to court by the task force team and on discovering that he was having health challenges, they brought him back to the presidential bus stop and on alighting from the vehicle, he walked few meters and slump and died.
According to him: “Rivers State Government did not initiate the taskforce to kill any of her citizens, rather it is aimed at restoring sanity and standard way of living among its citizens.
“Therefore, the taskforce dissociates itself from information being peddled by those who seek to defame the Rivers State Government in such a negative manner.
“The State Government has already swung into action to actually know the cause of his death. We urge all to be law-abiding and continue with their normal activities, as everything is under control.
“Lastly, I want to send a strong warning to those peddling fake news about the Rivers State TaskForce on Illegal Street Trading/ Illegal Motor Parks/ Illegal Mechanic Workshops to desist from such act or face the law if caught”.