Governors Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Sunday visited the scene of ethnic conflict in Sasha community, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The two governors met with the leaders of the Yoruba and Hausa communities and appealed to them to live in unity.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how several people reportedly died in a clash triggered by the fatal stabbing of a Yoruba cobbler by a Hausa cart pusher in Sasha market, Ibadan, after it degenerated into an ethnic conflict.
To forestall breakdown of law and order in the market and its environs, Mr Makinde on Saturday imposed an indefinite curfew in the area.
Speaking during the visit on Sunday, the governor pledged to give palliatives to those whose wares were affected during the crisis.
His Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES quoted his principal saying: “Please, I want you to listen to me clearly. You cannot resort to self-help to solve the issue on the ground. All of you who are here are doing business with one another in one way or the other. The last time I came here, about six weeks ago, some shops belonging to Hausa and Yoruba people got burnt.
“So, you have been living together peacefully and all I am pleading to you is, no matter what is making anyone angry, we will solve it with patience. I was reluctant to declare curfew here because I feel the economic wellbeing of everyone here is important, and because this is where you get what you use to feed yourselves.
“I will engage with your leaders this evening. One thing is, if you allow those who don’t have anything to lose here to blow this matter out of proportion, no one will be able to say where the crisis will end. By the grace of God, I pray we don’t lose any more lives.
“We must not lose any life needlessly anymore. What the government will do to ensure that those whose houses, shops were burnt, we will rebuild immediately. “But please, I beg of you, let us stop fighting with ourselves. I can assure you that we will deal with the situation.
“We must continue to maintain the peace here. Those who are hoodlums here will be dealt with but those who are law-abiding will be compensated for what they have lost”, he said.
In the same vein, Mr Akeredolu, who was in the state on behalf of the South West Governors, said peace must be allowed to reign.
“Concerning the issue on ground, we have come to beg you. We have been living together for a very long time and this is not the time to start fighting ourselves. So, let us consider that. There are some things that could be making us angry but don’t let us look at that because things cannot be like this forever. I have come here on behalf of my colleagues in Ekiti, Lagos, Osun and Ogun. “All of them have sent messages. Ogun has its own crisis it is battling with, so does Lagos. But as the chairman, I decided to come around to appeal to us.
“Though we are here in our fatherland, our own sons and daughters are in another person’s fatherland. So, let us think about this and continue to live in peace with one another. We don’t need to fight ourselves. We have security agencies that you can call their attention to any issue that could cause crisis. Let us not take the law into our hands. I have a brother in Abuja and others living in Hausaland.
He enjoined the residents to cooperate with Mr Makinde in maintaining law and orders.
Nigerians on social media have also called for peaceful coexistence among all ethnic groups.