The Shasha Market Crisis and The Need to Curb Our Ethnic Wars

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It has felt for a while that Nigeria’s main ethnic groups were a couple of careless statements or acts away from being set at war. The creation of the Amotekun vigilante by the southwest states and their bid to challenge the Fulani herdsmen crisis has undoubtedly played a role in this culminating in last week’s misunderstanding in Adeleye in Oyo State. It is believed that a misunderstanding between a Yoruba cobbler and a Hausa cart pusher led to the latter stabbing the former with a knife. After the confirmation of his death on Friday morning, violence broke out in the community with factions constituted of indigenes of both tribes resulting in the death of 6 people while shops and houses were burnt while others scampered for safety.

On Saturday morning, a group of Yoruba thugs took to the highway to restrict the free passage of commuters in search of Northerners who were dragged from their vehicles and killed to avenge the death of the stabbed cobbler.

Government Reactions 

Seyi Makinde, Governor of Oyo State responded by imposing a curfew in the area through a press statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo 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 (a) 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.

Why this Matters

In times of economic strife, it is important that such occurrences are nipped in the bud as they risk fanning the flames of xenophobia. Such events and the ensuing insecurity can be seen as having played a role in the breakout of the Civil War and it is important that we learn from our history to prevent it from repeating itself.

Also, it underlines the need to devise a solution to the grazing practices that have helped precipitate these issues. The Federal Government has largely taken a laissez-faire approach to it which has been viewed in some quarters as implying its approval of the status quo. It will need to take control of the situation and proffer a solution which it must also insist on enforcing.

 

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