Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde and his Ondo State counterpart, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, yesterday visited Shasha community in Ibadan.
They appealed for calm and a peaceful coexistence between the Hausa community and their Yoruba hosts.
The governors, who spoke at the Shasha market and the palace of the Baale Shasa, urged the residents of the community and Oyo State, particularly the Yoruba and Hausa, to stop taking the law into their hands.
Governor Makinde promised to give palliatives to those whose goods were affected during the crisis, saying the two groups should eschew violence.
He said: “Please, I want you to listen to me clearly. You cannot resort to self-help to solve the issue on 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.
“We must not lose any life needlessly anymore. The government will rebuild the houses and shops that were burnt. “But please, I beg of you, let us stop fighting with ourselves. I can assure you that we will deal with the situation.
“We must continue to maintain the peace here. Those who are hoodlums here will be dealt with, but those who are law-abiding will be compensated for what they have lost.”
Governor Akeredolu said he was in Oyo State on behalf of the Southwest governors.
He said every aggrieved party must stop fighting and allow peace to reign.
“Concerning the issue on ground, we have come to beg you. We have been living together for a very long time and this is not the time to start fighting ourselves. So, let us consider that.
“There are some things that could be making us angry, but don’t let us look at that because things cannot be like this forever. 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.
“Though we are here in our fatherland, our own sons and daughters are in another person’s fatherland. So, let us think about this and continue to live in peace with one another. We don’t need to fight ourselves.
“We have security agencies that you can call their attention to on any issue that can cause crisis. Let us not take the law into our hands. I have a brother in Abuja and others living in Hausaland.”
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said the recent clash among traders at Shasha market in Ibadan, Oyo State, is unfortunate, as the market represents unity.
He spoke yesterday in Lagos while fielding questions from reporters after paying a condolence visit to the late Lateef Jakande family in Ilupeju.
“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 Southwest for decades.
“For decades traders from the North have done business with their brothers from the Southwest and they have lived in peace and even inter-married; Shasha represents unity.
“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,’’ he said.
Residents and traders at Shasha market have counted their losses.
One of the victims, Alhaji Musiliudeen Moliki, said: “Property worth several millions of Naira have been damaged.”
A food seller at the market, Osuolale Monsurat, said: “My shop was burnt yesterday. I lost goods worth over N250,000. Since I got to this market eight years ago, I have never experienced a thing like this. Our shops were burnt while we looked helplessly. We implore the government to come to our aid as our means of livelihood have perished.”
The Baale of Shasha community, Chief Amusa Ajani, advised the government to take steps to restore peace.