President Muhammadu Buhari’s Governor, Aminu Masari of Katsina State, and his Kaduna State counterpart, Nasir El-Rufai, shunned a meeting of North-West Governors with Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State over the inter-ethnic crisis that flared up last week at Shasha market in Ibadan.
President Buhari’s home state was however, carved out of the old Kaduna State in 1987. The Fulani are the largest ethnic group in the state.
Four governors of North-West political power bloc who met with Governor Makinde at Government House, Ibadan on Monday were: Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, and Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger.
Before their Ibadan meeting, Governor Makinde had declared in a broadcast that his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration will ensure that justice was served on all the victims of the crisis that erupted between Hausa and Yoruba residents of Shasha Market in Akinyele Local Government, Ibadan.
He pointed out that a judicial panel will also 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 with a view to addressing the grievances and ensuring justice is served.
Governor Makinde’s Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, in a statement also quoted his principal as appealing to angry residents of the area to sheathe their swords, warning that whenever the people see the potential dangers of words and actions, they must take precautions.
“It is time to think about our self-preservation. It is time to put Oyo State first.”
Governor Makinde, who maintained that contrary to news circulating in the social media, the state government has been able to bring the situation in Shasha under control.
While stating that the situation has been de-escalated since around 2 p.m. on Saturday, the governor adds, “a curfew was put in place and there has been no further unrest since then.”
He has warned residents not to take laws into their hands, even as he maintained that the government will deploy all the apparatus available to it to ensure that justice was done.
According to him, the incident was unfortunate: “I visited Shasha Market and Ojoo in Akinyele Local Government Area yesterday, and I have met the people affected by the crisis. I am saddened by the loss of lives. I feel your pain. I understand your anger and frustrations. We will make things right.
“As I stated yesterday, I have also ordered a full investigation into the immediate cause of the crisis and I promise that all culprits will be brought to book. Our administration will also be providing the needed support to ensure that those who lost their properties to the mayhem are compensated.
“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.”
Makinde has accordingly warned individuals leveraging the sad events in the state for political goals to desist, stating that such individuals and those who fan the embers of crisis are not friends of the 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’’, he says.