TRADERS at the Shasha Market in Ibadan whose property was destroyed during the recent mayhem there have been offered relief under a joint scheme involving the National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) and the Oyo State government.
In February, violence broke in Ibadan after northerners were attacked at Sasha Market in Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State. This attack on Fulani’s working in the market led to a loss of lives and the widespread destruction of property forcing the Oyo State government to close down the facility.
Apart from closing down the market, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State had also asked the police to prosecute anyone found to be culpable for the loss of life. After being shut for about a week, the market was re-opened and it now appears that charges will dropped against all those arrested in a bid to find a political solution to the crisis.
Over the weekend, Nema in collaboration with Oyo State Emergency Management Agency (Oysema) distributed food items as relief packages to 982 selected victims of the Shasha Market mayhem. Both the Baale of Shasha market, Akinade Ajani and the Seriki Shasha, Alhaji Haruna Katsina were on hand to receive the items handed over to them by the acting zonal coordinator of Nema in the South West region, Akiode Saheed.
Items distributed included 10kg of rice, beans and garri, 20kg of vegetable oil, sachets of tomato paste, seasoning and salt. In March, Hadjia Sadiya Farouq, Nigeria’s minister of humanitarian affairs, social development and disaster management flagged off the distribution of the palliatives to the victims of the Shasha violence during a visit to Ibadan.
Mr Akiode said: “We are here with Oysema for the direct distribution of relief assistance as approved by Mr President, President Muhammadu Buhari upon the request Hadjia Farouq, who has graciously approved these relief materials to be distributed to all affected victims of Shasha market which occurred on February 12 this year. The Nema director-general has directed us to come and do the distribution to all 982 victims of the disaster here in collaboration with Oysema and all relevant stakeholders.”
Leaders of both Yoruba and Hausa communities expressed gratitude to President Buhari for reaching out to them in what they described as their trying time. They however urged both the federal and Oyo State government to expedite action on the market reconstruction especially with the rains approaching.
Akinade Ajani, the Baale of Shasha, said: “We are very grateful to the president for this show of compassion by reaching out to us in our trying time and we are very grateful for that. Our prayers are that the president will continue to succeed in everything he does and his administration will continue to progress.
“We only want to appeal for more support because people’s sources of livelihoods have been destroyed following the crisis. Government should expedite actions on the market reconstruction so that things will not get worse and you all know that the rains are here already and if actions are not expedited on helping us reconstruct the market people’s wares and properties will be further destroyed by the rains.”
Seriki Shasha, Alhaji Katsina, thanked President Buhari, the minister, Nema and other relevant agency that facilitated the provisions of the relief materials. Speaking on behalf of market operators, the Babaloja of Shasha market, Chief Rashidi Popoola, also commended President Buhari for reaching out to the victims of the crisis.