Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde ordered the Shasha market to reopen on Tuesday. The decision, he said, was made in the best interest of the merchants and for peace and harmony between the Yoruba and Hausa communities in Shasha.
The popular market, dominated by Yoruba and Hausa merchants, was closed just two weeks ago following the bloody clash that followed the death of a shoemaker the day after an altercation between two merchants.
Governor Makinde gave the directive for the reopening of the market during a peace meeting held with the leaders of the Hausa and Yoruba communities of Shasha at the House of Chiefs, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, on Tuesday.
He said the decision to reopen the market was based on traders’ need for survival in light of the declining economic situation. He added that due to the economic situation and the peculiarities associated with the state, the reopening of the market became imperative.
Addressing the Hausa-Fulani, he said: “Considering the economic situation and the peculiarities that we have with us, we will immediately reopen the Shasha market. They will bring a bulldozer to market today (Tuesday). “
“When my brother governors visited Seriki Shasha’s palace while we were working, I realized that both the people I saw at Seriki’s place and those I met at Baale’s place were not happy because they had been deprived of doing his work.
“If you look at the state of Oyo, even when COVID-19 was at its peak, I decided not to close our markets because I know and also explained to the country’s leaders at the national level that in our state, we have people who profit what they get today will determine whether they will eat tomorrow or not.
“Since peace has more or less returned to the market and the community, we have given the go-ahead that the market should be abrogated. I have also given instructions for some palliative work to be done. I have given instructions for solar light to be installed in the market at any time of the day or night, we will see what is happening in the market.
“The situation in our environment, economic activities are really very relevant and basic. We have people out there, what they will do today is what will determine whether they will eat tomorrow or not. And when you close the place and people are hungry and angry again, you precipitate another set of problems. So closing the market for an extended period of time is not really sustainable. “
He ordered the closure of the Shasha market annex that was established in Iroko during the crises, saying: “The Iroko market will remain closed. From what we heard, the promoters of that market were actually some of the people who were causing confusion and trouble in the Shasha market. We will take a long-term view of the Iroko market, but in the meantime, it remains closed.
“You see the CP and the DIG, they are the ones who maintain the curfew. And if they tell me that peace has returned to the community, the curfew will also be lifted. But the security agencies will continue to dominate the area. “
The Deputy Inspector General of Police, (in charge of the Southwest), DIG David Falawiyo, who was in the meeting with the state Police Commissioner in the state, Ngozi Onadeko, indicated that the police would continue to maintain surveillance and presence in the market at the time ensuring that peace and quiet prevail.
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Earlier, the Baale of Shasha, Akinade-Ajani and the Seriki of Shasha, Haruna Maiyasin, in separate comments, unanimously apologized on behalf of the merchants. They assured the governor that they were ready to ensure peaceful coexistence within the Shasha market immediately.