The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), on Tuesday, expressed its readiness to rebuild the burnt Shasa market in Ibadan.
NGF made the pledge to help rebuild the market, which was burnt down in the wake of the crisis that engulfed the market last week.
NGF delegation led by Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, made this pledge when the Governors visited the market.
Bagudu, who was joined by his colleagues from Zamfara, Kano, and Niger States, said that the city of Ibadan was calm, contrary to the pictures being circulated on the social media.
He commended the Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde for what he has done so far in restoring peace and normalcy to the community, adding that the streets of Ibadan are calm and peaceful.
“We, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, are going to support. As a matter of fact, we have given a token to those who are already displaced, and we will meet at a wider table tomorrow and can assure that more support will be mobilised.
“For the generality of all Nigerians, it is important to know that the streets of Ibadan are calm. People are not chasing one another. People are supporting one another to resume normalcy.
“To those outside Ibadan, particularly the Northern states, we want to extend that the regrettable incident has happened, but it is not a tribal but a regrettable conflict that different communities in Oyo State are holding themselves to sort out.”
Bagudu while speaking further, added that NGF will assist the state government in rebuilding the market and providing palliative for the victims.
“We were well received by our host, Governor Makinde, who briefed us about what happened. And, today, he has taken us to Sasa market. On our way, we had a stop-over at Bodija market and we are pleased that we saw Nigerians of different tribes at the market conducting activities, which is evidence of return of normalcy.
“In fact, we saw some onion sellers from different states, including Kebbi, Zamfara, and Sokoto and other states. We went to Sasa market and saw the destruction but more than the destruction was a regrettable loss of lives that was caused by a condemnable spontaneous response to emotions, because both the Hausa and Yoruba community were unanimous that two issues led to this situation.
“One, there had been contention over the leadership of the Sasa market but even though the Seriki Sasa and Baale of Sasa are in agreement about leadership, other interested groups were not so in agreement. So, there was this undercurrent playing out.
“On the other hand, there was somebody pushing a wheelbarrow with tomatoes and it fell in front of a shop. Ordinarily, one would have thought such is normal in a market but since emotions are pent up, unfortunately, we had such a situation. We sympathise with all those who lost their lives and property.
“We saw the damage and we appreciate what the governor has done so far. We have seen what the security agencies have also done, and we are glad that things are returning to normalcy.
“The Seriki Sasa and Baale have confirmed that everyone is ready to stay and conduct their lawful activities and the governor has assured that he will continue to ensure that all communities continue to live without fear.”
Makinde, who led Governors said that his government would continue to look for avenues to restore peaceful co-existence.
He declared that the unity of Nigeria and the need to restore peace were weightier than political divides, adding that his administration was ready to ensure peaceful co-existence among the residents of Sasa community in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state.
“As a government, we will continue to look for an avenue to restore a peaceful co-existence for all of us.
“Please, I want you to join hands with us and we also acknowledge that sometimes, we process information and we may not get to the roots of the issue. If you see something, say something to us and we will address the challenges frontally.”