The crisis that has engulfed the Shasa area of Ibadan since last week that caused the mass exodus on Northerners from Oyo State was caused by a man Niger Republic.
According to preliminary reports on the immediate cause of the crisis was triggered when a fight ensued between a Nigerien’ and a lady in the market which their brought Northerners in defence of the Nigerien’ and Yorubas in defence of the lady.
In addition, the report noted there has been underlying discontent over the leadership tussle at the Shasa Market which has been dominated by the Hausas.
A fight had ensued between the Hausa community and the native Yoruba community in Shasa Market on Thursday, February 11 and snowballed on Friday, February 12, which led to the death of nearly 30 people.
The Sasha Market, with shops belonging to the Hausa and Yoruba, vehicles and many residential houses were burnt during the crisis.
Meanwhile, as hundreds of Hausa people living in Oyo State are relocating back to the North in the aftermath of the crisis in the Shasa area and environs in Ibadan, Nigerians are eagerly expecting a comprehensive report on the findings of the committee which was set up by Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.
The Magajin Garin Hausawa of Ibadan Land, Alhaji Usman Garba, who confirmed that members of the Hausa Community were going back to the North in droves. spoke of the remote cause of the problem, acknowledging that “traders in the market have been having issues for long. The Yoruba people are arguing that since the establishment of the market, it was only Hausa people that have been leading the market. They are insisting that they won’t accept any truce until a Yoruba man emerges as the chairman.
“Although our people said the market should be led by a Hausa man because they are the real people working in the market, we will continue the meeting today (Tuesday).”
Some of the northerners who left the crisis-prone areas between Friday and Saturday said they paid security operatives between N5,000 and N10,000 to escort them to safer locations, including the residence of Sarkin Sasa, Alhaji Haruna Maiyasin.
One of the victims said they had to pay the money so that they would not be lynched.
“Some of us received monetary donations from our fellow Hausa community leaders to go back to our respective states in the North,” one of the displaced persons said.
He said they lost their belongings during Friday’s crisis, “and that is why we are going back to the North. We are lucky to be alive”,
Even though peace has reportedly been restored in Shasa and environs following the deployment of security agents, leaders of the Hausa community and some displaced residents said many of them, including women and children, had started moving back to the North.
Some of the victims said they had to leave Ibadan for the North because they lost all their belongings, including shops and houses, and there was no support from the government at the state and federal levels.
The head of the garage, Alhaji Yaro Abubakar, said that the youths have been there since Friday and most of them trekked from Shasa Market and adjoining quarters.
A wealthy individual, one Alhaji Nasiru Muhammad Naharande (Youth Leader of the Hausa community in Ibadan), is providing three square meals to the victims at the garage.
Other well-to-do individuals were also assisting the displaced.
Most of the IDPs interviewed vowed not to return to the Shasa Market until the government took decisive measures to protect their lives and property.
The Magajin Garin Hausawa of Ibadan Land, Alhaji Usman Garba, regretted that “we have not seen any government intervention agency or NGO attending to our humanitarian needs.
“Our people are joining trailers and buses back to the North. They are returning to the North not because they were asked to go but because many of them have lost their belongings in the crisis.”
Asked about the security situation in Shasa, he said, “Our people are impressed because the police, DSS, Army, Civil Defence and men of Amotekun are here. They check people moving in and out of Shasa.”
On how they were managing the displaced in terms of feeding and other basic needs, Alhaji Garba said, “We have moved some of them to main Sabo in Mokola to reduce burden on the house of Sarkin Shasa. We are also contributing money to feed and care for the victims.
“I wept when I went to Shasa. Many people were killed unreported. Our children have no place to sleep while others are hungry. Since that day, we have been contributing money for them to eat.
“I just called my younger brothers to bring the only remaining bag of rice in our house for those who are still in the house of Sarkin Hausawa.
“Government has not done anything in terms of humanitarian support,” he said.
Meanwhile, Governor Makinde has said that a judicial panel will be inaugurated to investigate the crisis, adding that peace and security committees will equally be put in place in all the zones of the state to address the grievances of contending parties.
Makinde, in a state-wide broadcast, aired on the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), on Monday, appealed to angry residents of Shasa to sheath their swords.
He said contrary to news circulating on social media, the state government was able to bring the situation in Shasa under control since around 2 pm on Saturday.
“A curfew was put in place and there has been no further unrest since then. I mourn the loss of lives that has occurred. Even when justice is served, nothing can bring back the dead. That is why I must also state that individuals who have taken to stoking up ethnic flames in Oyo State either through their utterances or actions or posts on social media are enemies of our state.
“The people who have decided to leverage these sad events to further their political goals are not our friends. These people handing us petrol and matches will not stand with us when the fire turns into an inferno. When we see the potential dangers of words and actions, we must take precautions. It is time to think about our self-preservation. It is time to put Oyo State first,” he said.
This was contained in a statement by Force spokesman, Frank Mba.
He said the operatives, to be led by DIG David Folawiyo, would reclaim the public space, reinforce security and bolster public confidence in the areas affected by the crisis.
“The deployments, consisting largely of intelligence and operational assets of the Force, include four units of the Police Mobile Force, seasoned operatives from the Force Intelligence Bureau and one operational/surveillance police helicopter from the police air – wing department.”
Mba added that the IGP assured that the Force was committed to the safety of lives and property of the citizens in the country.”
Northern govs meet Makinde
Governor Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi), on Monday evening, led Governors Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Abubakar Bello (Niger) and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) to meet with Governor Makinde in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The governors who arrived by 7.03 pm were subsequently led into a closed-door meeting by the host governor. The northern governors were reportedly directed by their colleagues who were meeting in Kaduna to proceed to Oyo.
Credible sources said the governors were also billed to meet with various stakeholders involved in the crisis on Tuesday, to arrive at an amicable resolution.
Others present at the meeting were the Special Adviser to the governor on Security, Mr Fatai Owoseni; Special Assistant to the governor on Community Relations (Arewa Community), Alhaji Ahmad Murtala; and a representation of the Hausa communities among other stakeholders.
The governors are expected to proceed to Ogun State on Tuesday.
First published in Daily Trust, https://dailytrust.com/shasa-crisis-northerners-leaving-ibadan-in-droves