AT LEAST SIX KILLED, HOUSES RAZED, PROPERTIES DESTROYED IN OYO ETHNIC VIOLENCE
At least six persons have lost their lives and properties destroyed after an ethnic clash between the Yorubas and Hausas which started at Shasha market in Akinyele Local Government Area of Ibadan, Oyo State.
Eons Intelligence gathered that the violence was triggered on Thursday after an Hausa cart pusher stabbed a Yoruba cobbler with a knife in the market during a misunderstanding.
The stabbed victim was confirmed dead in a hospital on Friday morning, leading to crisis in the community with the latter group trying to avenge the death of their tribesman.
Within hours, the conflict spread beyond the market, as the Hausa and Yoruba communities in Akinyele Local Government Area, where the market is located, clashed.
It was learnt that six persons died from both ethnic groups during the reprisal attacks and various shops, houses and trailers were set ablaze in the process.
Getting tougher on Saturday morning, some Yoruba youths blocked various highways, asking passengers to identify their ethnic groups.
In a video captured online by Eons Intelligence, motorists were asked to identify their ethnic groups.
Sources say that those who were identified as Hausa were forced out of vehicles and attacked by the hoodlums.
An eyewitness said once a commuter, passenger or motorist is identified as an Hausa, he or she would be forced out of the vehicle and killed by the Yoruba thugs.
“Once you are an Hausa person, you will be dragged down from the car and be killed by the Yorubas who ordinary to them were avenging the death of the cobbler killed by a Hausa man,” a witness, who said he saw several lifeless bodies at Moniya area of Ibadan.
As the killings continued, the military stormed the community in an attempt to stop the reprisal attacks and destruction of properties.
Meanwhile, in order to forestall breakdown of law and order in the market and its environs, Governor Seyi Makinde on Saturday ordered the immediate closure of Shasha market indefinitely.
It also imposed an indefinite curfew on Shasha and the market area which runs from 6 pm to 7 am.
The governor in a statement through Taiwo Adisa,
his Chief Press Secretary, said anyone caught perpetrating violence will face the wrath of the law.
Reacting to the crisis, Kayode Fayemi,Governor of Ekiti State, and his counterparts in Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, urged citizens not to allow a misunderstanding to degenerate into violence, maiming, and killing.
Fayemi in a statement by his spokesperson, Yinka Oyebode, said “we do not need any act of violence leading to the unnecessary death of citizens. Now is the time for the leadership of various ethnic nationalities, trading groups, and security agencies to halt the orgy of violence in Shasha area and work towards ensuring peace in different parts of the country.
“We will enjoy enduring peace and progress through dialogue, mutual respect, and understanding for one another. Violence and attendant death and destruction would only spell doom for the country.
“While commending Governor Makinde for his timely intervention in the crisis, we also express our sympathy to families of the victims as well as those who have lost properties and businesses during the crisis,” Mr Fayemi, the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, said.
Saliu Adetunji, Olubadan of Ibadanland, in a statement also urged people to eschew violence and bitterness by ensuring that minor conflicts do not degenerate to unnecessary tension.
He said “many of our compatriots have been living with each other for a long time. We grow up and attend schools together. People from diverse ethnic groups do inter marry and give birth to lovely children.”
Speaking on the crisis, he said “immediately the report of the crisis got to us in the palace yesterday (Friday), the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde was the first person I called and we have his promise that appropriate action would be taken as sinners would not go unpunished,” the monarch said.