Nigeria: Trading Resumes in Shasha Market

26 February 2021

Those whose shops were not seriously razed in Shasha market and those with plank spaces accommodated their Hausa and Yoruba friends.

Following the reopening of Sasha market by Governor <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/seyiamakinde">Seyi Makinde</a> on Tuesday, trading activities have returned as both Yoruba and Hausa residents and traders in the community embraced peace.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that wholesale and retail trades were carried out in the market on Wednesday and those whose shops were not burnt accommodated their friends.

Mr Makinde at a meeting with the leaders of the two ethnic groups at the House of Chiefs, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, Oyo State announced the reopening of the popular market.

"Considering the economic situation and the peculiarities we have with us, I have heard what you said, and we will immediately reopen the Shasha market. They will bring (a) bulldozer to the market today.

"When my brother governors visited Seriki Sasha palace, while we were walking around, I realised that both the people I saw at the Seriki's place and those I met at Baale's place were not happy because they have been deprived of doing their job," Mr Makinde said on Tuesday.

Backstory

This newspaper on February 14 reported how several lives were lost in a clash that ensued after a disagreement between a cart pusher and a stall owner at the market on Thursday, February 11.

The disagreement led to violence after a cobbler, Sakirudeen Adeola, who had his shed nearby, intervened on the side of the woman.

Mr Adeola was attacked by the cart pusher and he later died. His death led to riots that degenerated into an ethnic crisis between Hausa and Yorubas in the community in Akinyele Local Government Area, where the market is located.

In a bid to forestall lawlessness, Mr Makinde issued a statement the next day that the market be closed and also imposed a <a target="_blank" href="https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/ssouth-west/442581-breaking-makinde-imposes-indefinite-curfew-in-market-where-traders-clashed.html">curfew</a> in the community.

PREMIUM TIMES <a target="_blank" href="https://www.premiumtimesng.com/investigationspecial-reports/443698-special-report-how-yoruba-shielded-hausa-and-hausa-protected-yoruba-during-sasha-violence.html">investigation</a> revealed how the violence produced remarkable stories of heroism and humanity, with some people of Yoruba descent shielding their Hausa neighbours from attacks and vice-versa.

Slow return

PREMIUM TIMES understands that while the market was not filled like it used to be in the past, trucks are fast returning with tomatoes, pepper, onions filled in them, traders told our reporter.

Those whose shops were not seriously razed and those with plank spaces accommodated their Hausa and Yoruba friends.

"We are happy with the reopening of the market and we hope not to witness all that happened in the past again. Some people have returned and trading is ongoing," Kazeem Shoremekun, an onion seller said.

A Hausa trader in the market, Razaq Yusuf, said within 24 hours that the market was opened, buying and selling are fast returning to normal.

"Normalcy has returned and we commend Governor Makinde for his decision to reopen the market. It is our belief that what transpired the last time won't happen again."

Some Hausa traders told this newspaper that some northern governors shared bags of rice and money to them through the Seriki Hausa in Shasha.

In his reaction, a Yoruba tomato seller, Muibat Alani, said he is happy that people were at the market again for trading activities weeks after closure.

"We appreciate the Baale Shasha and others for the show of love to us. We are, however, hopeful that Governor Makinde will fulfil his promise of giving us money to return back to our previous standard. We also urge the governor to come and help clear all the debris in the destroyed places. We are currently using open spaces, we hope the shops are raised for usage again."

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