Governors Forum says Shasha Market conflict in Ibadan not tribal

Governors Forum says Shasha Market conflict in Ibadan not tribal

The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) says last weekend’s conflict at Shasha Market in Ibadan was not a tribal conflict.

 

Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi, who made the declaration on behalf of the Forum in Ibadan after an on-the-spot assessment on Tuesday, said that it was the handiwork of miscreants who set out to loot, steal and cause mayhem.

 

He, however, described the crisis as a regrettable spontaneous incident.

 

Members of the NGF assessment team include Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger State and Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State.

 

The NGF mandated the four governors to visit Oyo State and discuss with their Oyo State counterpart, Gov. Seyi Makinde, over the Shasha conflict in which lives were lost and property destroyed.

 

Bagudu admonished youths and social media warriors and influencers to desist from painting the conflict as tribally-motivated, while desisting from fanning of the embers of discord which could destabilise the country.

 

He noted that normalcy had returned to the Shasha community, as leaders there were working together to put the incident behind them.

 

The Kebbi governor stressed that “the streets of Ibadan are calm; there is no one chasing another and people are supporting one another to ensure normalcy.’’

 

Bagudu noted that such skirmishes were bound to happen in communities, adding, however, that “sometimes, they are exploited by miscreants to loot, steal and cause mayhem.

 

“At Shasha Market, we saw the destruction, but more than the destruction was the regrettable loss of lives that was caused by an unfortunate and condemnable spontaneous response to emotions.

 

“Everyone in the community recognised that two issues led to the crisis.

 

First, there had been contention over the leadership at Shasha Market.

 

“Both the Seriki and Baale of Shasha are in agreement about the leadership tussle but other interested groups were not; hence, there was an undercurrent for trouble to brew.

 

“What was the trigger? There was somebody pushing a wheelbarrow with tomatoes and the items fell in front of a shop. Ordinarily, that is normal in markets.

 

“But when emotions rose and social media posts instigating crisis became strident, we had the situation we had.

 

“We sympathise with those who lost their lives and property. Also, we appreciate what Gov. Makinde, community leaders, security agents, youth groups, have done so far.

 

“We are also glad that the Seriki and Baale of Shasha are firm that everyone is free to stay and conduct his or her lawful activities.’’

 

Bagudu also said that Gov. Makinde had given an assurance that he would continue to engage the people to ensure that all the communities in the state lived without fear.

 

“As we speak, it is certain that some people are hiding and experiencing fear about what will happen.

 

“So, it behoves us to ensure that we communicate properly.

 

“This will make those living in fear to know that the NGF, President Mohammadu Buhari and security agencies are working hard to ensure that we treat things for what they are,’’ he said.

 

Bagudu commended the efforts of the Oyo State governor to render assistance to the victims of the conflict, pledging that NGF would also support him.

 

“In fact, we have given a token to support those who are already displaced. We will meet at wider forum on Wednesday and I’m sure more support will be mobilised,’’ he said.

 

The NGF delegation had earlier visited the palace of Baale of Shasha, Chief Akinlade Ajani and the Seriki of Shasha, Alhaji Haruna Maiyasin, where they described the unfortunate incident as not good for nation building.

 

The two leaders sued for peace and urged the government to assist in restoring lasting peace to the area.

 

Makinde also sued for peace and promised that his administration would find means to restore lasting peace in Shasha and in the entire state.

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