Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Sunday visited the crisis-ridden Shasha community in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
During the visit, the governors appealed for calm and peaceful coexistence between the Hausa community and their Yoruba hosts.
Recall that suspected members of Yoruba and Hausa communities in Shasha had clashed on Friday, leading to the death of a cobbler identified as Sakirudeen Adeola, and the destruction of properties worth millions of naira.
Addressing the people at the Shasha market and the palace of the Baale Shasha, Akeredolu and Makinde urged the residents to stop taking laws into their hands.
Makinde specifically promised to give palliatives to those whose wares were destroyed during the crisis, saying that the two factions should eschew violence and allow peace to reign.
Promising to rebuild burnt properties, the governor said, “Please, I want you to listen to me clearly. You cannot resort to self-help to solve the issue on the ground. All of you who are here are doing business with one another in one way or the other.
“The last time I came here, about six weeks ago, some shops belonging to Hausa and Yoruba people got burnt. So, you have been living together peacefully and all I am pleading to you is, no matter what is making anyone angry, we will solve it with patience.
“I was reluctant to declare curfew here because I feel the economic well being of everyone here is important, and because this is where you get what you use to feed yourselves. I will engage with your leaders this evening.
“One thing is, if you allow those who don’t have anything to lose here to blow this matter out of proportion, no one will be able to say where the crisis will end. By the grace of God, I pray we don’t lose any more lives.”
In his remarks, Akeredolu, who said he was in Oyo State on behalf of the South-West governors, urged every aggrieved party to allow peace to reign.
“I have come here on behalf of my colleagues in Ekiti, Lagos, Osun and Ogun. All of them have sent messages. Ogun has its own crisis it is battling with, so does Lagos. But as the chairman, I decided to come around to appeal to us.
“We have security agencies that you can call their attention to any issue that could cause crisis. Let us not take law into our hands. I have a brother in Abuja and others living in Hausaland,” he said.
Earlier in an advertorial,Akeredolu urged the residents of the South-West not to take the law into their hands, but remain law-abiding citizens.
He said, “As governor of Ondo State who doubles as Chairman, South-West Governors’ Forum, it becomes very compelling for me to address all residents, in particular, the Yoruba-speaking people of our dear region as regards recent happening bordering on security.”
We must deal with criminals according to law, says Osinbajo
Meanwhile, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has described as unfortunate recent mayhem at Shasa, in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Speaking with newsmen during a condolence visit to the residence of the late former governor of Lagos State, Lateef Jakande in Ilupeju, Lagos, the Vice President said the Shasha incident was tragic.
He said, “I have heard about the unfortunate mayhem and the tragic loss of lives at the Shasha market in the past few days. Shasha market has been a melting pot for traders bringing foodstuff from the North to the South-West for decades.
“So, when a disagreement arises between individuals or a criminal act is committed by one against the other, we must ensure that we see it for what it is; a criminal act, which must be punished according to law, not an ethnic conflict. Every Nigerian has a constitutional right to live, work and enjoy their lives in safety, peace under the law.”
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