GOVERNOR Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has ordered the immediate re-opening of Shasha market in Ibadan and the closure of the interim annex which was established in Iroko during the closure in response to the recent outbreak of violence.
Last week, violence broke in Ibadan after northerners were attacked at Sasha market in Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State. This attack on Fulani’s working in the market led to a loss of lives and the destruction of property and forced the state government to close down the facility.
Over the last few weeks, tension has been high across the southwest geo-political zone after herdsmen killed diasporan farmer Dr Fatai Aborode in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State. His death lead to Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Igboho issuing a seven day quit notice to the herdsmen to leave the area, after which they were forcefully evicted.
Following the success of the Ibarapa eviction, numerous communities across the southwest have solicited the help of Mr Adeyemo in removing the herdsmen within their midst. Fulani herdsmen are renown for carrying out very violent crimes across Nigeria, including kidnapping, armed robbery, rape and banditry.
Re-opening the market today, Governor Makinde said he is waiting until he gets assurances and advise from the security agencies before he would lift the dusk-to-dawn curfew at the market. According to the governor, the decision to reopen the market was necessitated by the declining economic situation and the peculiarities associated with Oyo State, adding that he would reopen the market for the traders to continue with their commercial activities.
Governor Makinde said: “Considering the economic situation and the peculiarities we have with us, I have heard what you said and we will immediately reopen the Shasha market. When my brother governors visited Seriki Shasha’s palace, while we were working around, I realised that both the people I saw at Seriki’s place and those I met at the Baale’s place were not happy because they have been deprived of doing their jobs.
“If you look at Oyo State, even when the Covid-19 was at its peak, I decided not to shut our market places because I know and also explained to the leadership of the country at the national level that in our state, we have people that the proceeds from what they get today will determine if they will eat tomorrow or not. Since peace more or less returned to the market and the community, we have given the go-ahead that the market should be re-opened.
“I have also given instructions for some palliative works to be done and I have instructed that solar lights be installed in the market anytime of the day or night. When you shut the place down and people get hungry and again angry, then you precipitate another set of issues, so closing the market for an extended period of time, is actually not sustainable.”
David Falawiyo, the deputy inspector-general police in charge of the southwest, who was at the meeting with Oyo State commissioner of police Ngozi Onadeko, noted that they would continue to maintain surveillance and a presence in the market, while ensuring that peace and tranquillity prevail. Earlier, the Baale of Shasha, Akinade-Ajani and the Seriki of Shasha, Haruna Maiyasin, in their separate remarks, unanimously apologised on behalf of the traders and warring factions for the ugly incident at the market and pledged to ensure peaceful coexistence and brotherliness henceforth.