Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi), and Abubakar Bello (Niger) on Tuesday visited the troubled Shasha Market in Ibadan to proffer a lasting solution to the recent clash between Yoruba and Hausa communities there.
Arriving at the market, the governors visited the palace of Seriki Shasha, Alhaji Haruna Maiyasin.
There was a heavy presence of security in strategic places within and outside the market with aerial surveillance by the Nigeria Police Force.
The team, which included security heads in the state, Special Adviser to Governor Makinde on Security, Mr. Fatai Owoseni; Chairman, Advisory Council, Senator Hosea Agboola; and former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Senator Monsurat Sumonu, were received warmly to the palace of Seriki Shasha.
The Serikin of Ibadanland, Alhaji Ahmodu Zugeru, who regretted the unfortunate incident, however, lauded Governor Makinde for his peaceful relationship with the Hausa community since the beginning of his administration.
Speaking at the palace, Governor Makinde sued for peace and promised that his government would find a way to restore peace to the community.
“Hausa and Yoruba are one. We are family and we must learn to live in peace. This is unfortunate,” he said.
Kebbi State Governor, Bagudu, described the alleged leadership tussle between Yoruba and Hausa communities as one of the factors that triggered the ethnic crisis at the market that is predominantly dominated by the two tribes.
Governors Bagudu, Ganduje, Matawalle and Bello had on Monday evening paid a solidarity visit to their Oyo State counterpart, Makinde, on the Shasha crisis, which ultimately snowballed into loss of lives and property.
Bagudu, while answering questions from journalists shortly after they visited the market, disclosed that investigation showed that the leadership tussle at the market also contributed to the killings and destruction of property in the area.
He noted that there was a case of a cart pusher whose tomatoes fell in front of a woman’s shop, widely believed to have been the cause of the problem. He however said the spat between the cart pusher said to be a Hausa man and the woman said to be a Yoruba woman, was not the major cause of the crisis.
He blamed the problem on a leadership tussle between the Hausa and Yoruba communities there, saying the ethnic nationality of the person that would be the leader of the market was the bone of contention.
Bagudu said it was a thing of joy that normalcy and peace had returned to the place and its environs, adding efforts taken by Makinde to ensure peace, oneness, and togetherness shouldn’t be taken for granted.
He said he and other northern governors who were on a solidarity visit to Oyo State, had without mincing words, hailed Makinde for his proactiveness and charisma to ensure that the crisis was prevented from degenerating into something uncontrollable.
He noted that on their way to Shasha market, they branched at Bodija market to see how different tribes were conducting their business transactions cordially, which he described as proof of the oneness and unity between the Yoruba people and other tribes residing in Ibadan and the entire state.
Asked about the threat of reprisal in the North, Bagudu said the needful would be done at the level of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to prevent such and ensure there is peace across the nation.
He warned the agents and carriers of fake news to completely desist from the publication of fake and unsubstantiated news capable of causing tension and ethnic crises.
He said an undisclosed amount of money would be provided for the victims of the violence to alleviate their suffering.
Bagudu revealed that further assistance to the victims will be made known after the issue has been tabled before other colleagues in NGF.