The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) on Tuesday declared that the crisis in Shasa, Akinyele Local Government Area of Ibadan the Oyo State capital is not a tribal war but “a regrettable conflict.”
The governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who led three other governors from the northern states to Shasa on behalf of the NGF, explained that the four northern governors were sent to Ibadan to resolve the crisis.
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The governors are, Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi) and Abubakar Bello (Niger).
The host governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, who led his counterparts to assess the destruction in the area, sued for peace and promised that his government would find means to restore peace to the community.
Makinde said, “As a government, you trust and elected us into office, please trust our judgement to watch out for you and ensure that we coexist peacefully”
“There is nothing we can do in an atmosphere of unrest and disharmony, those who go to Iroko to continue trading, I will lock up the place.
“When you are all ready to cooperate, you will come to me. When you have agreed that there won’t be any more bloodshed here, you will come to me and then I will reopen the market. I beg you. We won’t lose any more lives.”
Receiving the governors, the Seriki Shasa of Ibadanland, Alhaji Haruna Maiyasin, lauded Governor Makinde “for his peaceful relationship with the Hausa community since the inception of his administration.”
Addressing newsmen on behalf of the other visiting governors on the need for Nigerians to live peacefully, Bagudu appealed to the aggrieved ethnic groups to maintain peace and unity that have been in existence between the Hausa and the Yoruba communities from time immemorial.
His words: “We are well received by our host Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde. He briefed us about what happened, and today, took us to Shasa market and on our way, there was a stopover at Bodija market and we are pleased that we saw Nigerians of all tribes in the market conducting their activity, which is evident of return of normalcy.”
“In fact, we saw onion sellers from different states, including Kebbi, Zamfara and Sokoto and Nigerians of other states.
“So, we went to Shasa market, we saw the level destruction, but more than the destruction was the regrettable loss of lives that were caused by a condemnable spontaneous response to emotions because both the Hausa community and the Yoruba community were unanimous that two issues led to this situation.
“First, there have been contentions over the leadership of the Shasa market. Even though the Seriki Shasa and the Baale of Shasa are in agreement about leadership, but other interested groups were not so carried along.
“Then the trigger, there was somebody, either pushing or carrying a wheelbarrow with tomatoes and it fell in front of a shop. Ordinarily, that is just normal in a market, but once emotions are up, and social media are instigating, unfortunately, we had the situation we had, which included loss of lives and we regret and we sympathize with families of all those who lost their lives and property.
“We saw the damage and we appreciate what the governor has done so far and the community leaders, youth groups and security agencies and Nigerian Governors have been calling the governor over the last few days and we are glad that things are calming down and returning to normalcy and we are equally glad that in our visit, the Seriki Shasa and the Baale are firm that everyone is free to stay and conduct their lawful activities.
“And the governor, he assured that he would continue to ensure that all communities are living without fear.
“To those outsides, particularly in the Northern states, we want to extend that a regrettable spontaneous incident has happened, but it is not a tribal conflict; it’s a regrettable conflict that the different communities in Oyo are working on and holding each other’s hands to sort out.
“So, we are glad that the governor is rendering assistance and we in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum are also going to support him.
“In fact, we have given a token to support those who are already displaced and we will meet at a wider forum tomorrow [Wednesday] and I am sure more supports will be mobilised,” he assured.