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Shasha attack

16.02.2021 news ‘It Was Looting Like Never Before’ — Traders Count Their Losses After Shasha Attack

Published 16th Feb, 2021

By Gabriel Ogunjobi

The Hausa-Yoruba ethnic crisis that happened in Akinyele Local Government area of Oyo State during the weekend has resulted in the displacement of people and the wreckage of good worth millions of naira in the popular Shasha market.

The crisis was reported to have begun on Thursday evening following an argument that turned violent between a Hausa hired labourer and pregnant woman inside the market.  

FIJ gathered that some residents temporarily left their homes to seek safety elsewhere and have been unable to return because the tension is yet to be doused.

Several Hausa people engaging in one business or the other have also forcefully moved out of the capital city of Oyo in order to escape reprisal attacks.

After returning from a meeting from one of the community’s chiefs, Alhaja Fatima Okunade sat to recount her losses.

She said she couldn’t remember the last time she experienced a calamity of this magnitude.

“This fire attack is a reality but I have never experienced such looting before,” she said. “I was one of those who lost assets in the 1992 fire and that of 2008 in this same market. None is as big as this. I couldn’t even recover a pin.”

In worth, the foodstuff dealer said she lost fully-stocked wares up to N3.5million. She added that her looted business may cause “suffering for the lives feeding from it”.

Abiodun Asimiyu’s parents couldn’t immediately speak with FIJ but the son did on their behalf.

Abiodun started off by saying: “In a place where we usually have a good relationship with the Hausa, this was a very terrible event that became a bloodshed”. 

READ ALSO: Oyo Ethnic Crisis: Hoodlums at Roadblocks Ask Passengers to Identify Themselves as Yoruba Before Passing

“Markets and houses were destroyed. Lives were lost. Some of my parents’ friends around Shasha are yet to return home up till now.”

Even his father who returned hasn’t been able to deal with the trauma, Abiodun said. The mother, who is the daughter of the market leader, ‘Iyaloja’, is yet to return to either the market or house, three days after.

Abiodun stated that the attack on his mother’s foodstuff business seemed to be intentional.

“It was like these Hausa decided to burn everyone’s shops before leaving.” he said. “And they really focused on the rich ones. My mother is a well-known trader of the market because her mother is the Iyaloja of Shasha.”

Meanwhile, Seyi Makinde, the state governor, visited the area with his counterpart from Ondo state, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Sunday. He promised to compensate the people who lost goods and properties as a result of the crisis, but the people said they were yet to be contacted.

FIJ tried to reach Taiwo Adisa, the governor’s chief press secretary, but his calls were unanswered.

Published 16th Feb, 2021

By Gabriel Ogunjobi

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