…donates cash, food items to displaced victims
…says recent change in military leadership’ll further address security challenges
By Adeola Badru
A former governor of Zamfara State, Senator Ahmad Sani Yerima, has appealed to the Yoruba and Hausa communities in Shasha axis of Oyo State, to see the recent conflict that ensued which claimed scores of lives in the market and destruction of property, as an act of the devil, urging families of the victims not take any revenge or think of fighting back.
The clash, which was triggered by an exchange of words between a Yoruba pregnant woman and a tomato Hausa porter and the eventual murder of a cobbler, Sakirudeen Adeola, popularly known as “Adex” last week Thursday at Shasha market, Ibadan, degenerated into the conflicts.
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Within hours, the conflict spread beyond the market, as the Hausa and Yoruba communities in the local government, where the market was located, went after each other.
According to witnesses, at least, scores of people died from both sides in the reprisal attacks. Various shops and houses were burnt, while the market was deserted in the process.
Yerima, who said he was in the state, to console with the two communities, yesterday, while speaking with newsmen, admonished people to desist from painting the conflict as tribally-motivated and to also discontinue the fanning of the embers of discord that could destabilise the country.
His words: “Well, first of all, I came here to condole and console them to appeal to them to take this community as they used to take it as their own.”
“They should take this quarel that took place as an act of devil and they should turn everything to God and pray that it shouldn’t happen again.”
“And secondly, I am sure the Federal Government and the state government will do everything possible to ensure those who have lost their means of livelihood are assisted and supported.”
“Like the Seriki Shasha has said, I was able to send 100 bags of mealet and 100 bags of rice and N500,000 to support them so that they can have something to eat.”
“And I think various governments both federal and state will do something to make sure they are assisted.”
“Challenges are all over the world; it is not new to Nigeria. There are so my states that things have happened in all countries. Look at Libya. In America, there is the same problem. Look at UK. So they are challenges we have to continue to face over time.”
“The changes that took place in the leadership of the military, I am sure will rejuvenate the activities of the armed forces to ensure that they take care of this menace.”
“But I want to call on the general public to support the government. It is not the work of the government alone, everybody like the minister of defence said, all the communities should be up and doing. They should wake up and support the security agencies to defend them and their lives and their territories.”
“We also Yoruba in our communities, we have Igbos, we have everybody; they should continue to live in peace. We are all Nigerians. The constitution is very clear; there is absolute freedom of movement. Every Nigerian can go to anywhere he wants to live and earn a living.”
“So, Nigeria should be accomodating so that we will live in peace and harmony, we are all brothers and sisters.”
“Yoruba and Igbo and Huasa, especially Yoruba and Hausa, you see a Yoraba man, in our community when I was small, we have one Yoruba man particularly from this state, Oyo State from Ogbomoso, he has been living with us. Their children you cannot even say they are not Hausa; they speak Hausa like every other Hausa.”
“If they speak Yoruba, their accent will like Hausa man speaking Yoruba language. Se we should consider ourselves like as brothers and sisters.”
“See another one, I met him when I came for a campaign in 2006 in Oyo State and he has since then living with me. He said he was a student of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH). They were beating drum to recieve me. By now he is my son. His parents have handed him over to me. He is my Personal Assistant.”
“When I told the PA of vice president that my PA is coming to see him and he said are you Yemi and he answered yes, Yerima’s PA.”
“So, this is Nigeria, God cannot make mistake by creating us and putting us in different tribes, different religions just for us to accommodate ourselves and worship God.”
“If you are a Christian, be a good Christian; if you are a Muslim, be a good Muslim that is what we are saying.”
“Each community here should take what happened as an act of God and they should not take any revenge or think of fighting back or doing anything negative, because doing that is an act of devil. They should leave everything to God and He will handle the matter and He will give them the consolation that they need to live happily in this community,” Yerima pleaded.
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