From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has imposed a 13-hour curfew on the popular Shasha community in Ibadan, following a communal clash that broke out between Yoruba and Hausa in the area since Thursday February 11, this year.
The curfew is to run from 6p.m. to 7 a.m., until further notice. This came with a strong warning that anyone caught disrupting the peace of the community would be made to face the wrath of the law.
Makinde also ordered the immediate closure of the popular Shasha Market indefinitely. The market is in the heart of the community and it is famous for tomatoes, pepper, and other soup ingredients. People from within and outside Oyo State have been storming the market on daily basis to buy majorly tomatoes and pepper.
The clash reportedly claimed three lives, between Thursday and Friday, though the police confirmed only one person dead. Many houses and shops have also been razed, while some trucks have also been burnt in that area. The crisis was said to have extended to Ojoo, Sagbe, Idi-Ose, Akingbile, Moniya and Akinyele.
The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said the governor gave the order to forestall breakdown of law and order in the area and equally imposed a curfew on Shasha and the market area.
According to Adisa: “His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde has directed the immediate closure of Shasha Market indefinitely following reports of a breach of peace in the area.
“The governor has also approved the imposition of curfew on Shasha. It will run from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.
“Residents of the affected area are enjoined to go about their legitimate businesses within the hours stipulated by the law.
“Anyone caught disrupting the peace of the community will be made to face the wrath of the law.”
The crisis reportedly began on Thursday afternoon when a man said to have hailed from Niger Republic had altercations with a pregnant woman in front of her shop. The man was said to have carried tomatoes in a nylon bag, and on getting to the front of the pregnant woman’s shop, the nylon got burst and the tomatoes fell on the ground.
The man picked the good ones and left the spoilt ones on the ground. The pregnant woman accosted the man and insisted that he should pack the remaining tomatoes on the ground, but the man refused. In the process, she grab the man’s cloth and the woman began to be violent against her.
A resident of Shasha, Kola Ridwan: told Saturday Sun, that: “A shoemaker, Sakirundeen Adeola, who was watching the development, left his shop and went to meet the two of them with a view to resolving the crisis. Sakirundeen said no matter what, the man from Niger Republic should not litre the frontage of the woman’s shop. The man got angry and gave the shoemaker a deadly blow. The shoemaker fell and hit his head against a stone. I was told.
“The shoemaker was rushed to the hospital and he died this morning (Friday). This got the friends and family members of the deceased angry and they mobilised to retaliate. The man from Niger Republic lives among the Hausa. Then, the Hausa also mobilise to fight.
“I can confirm to you that no fewer than seven trucks have been vandalised and looted. Also, many houses have been burnt.”
The Police Public Relations Officer for the state, Olugbenga Fadeyi, said: “It was a clash between two social miscreants in which one of the miscreant, Adeola Sakirundeen, was hit by the other and died later while receiving treatment in an hospital.”
He stated that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko; Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Security, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, and other police tactical teams have visited the scene for on the spot assessment.
“Massive police deployment and that of the sister security agencies were made to dowse tension. Critical stakeholders have also been consulted to appeal to the people. Normalcy is gradually returning to the area,” Fadeyi said.