- At least one person was reportedly killed in skirmishes at Shasha market in Ibadan which started on Thursday, February 11.
- The casualty, one Shakirudeen, was said to have been hit with a dangerous weapon by a porter hauling pepper and tomato in the market
- The incident has forced many people to leave their homes for safety
There is palpable tension at Shasha Community in Akinyele local government area of Ibadan, Oyo state, as reprisal attacks broke out over the death of one cobbler simply identified as Shakirudeen.
Shakirudeen was reportedly killed while settling a rift between a woman and a porter in the market.
A source from the market narrated how the incident happened to Legit.ng's regional reporter in Ibadan, Ridwan Kolawole.
The source said:
"It happened that one porter, a Nigerien, was carrying tomatoes and the load fell and spilt in front of a woman's shop.
Hausa-Yoruba clash: It can lead to ethnic conflict, northern governor writes Makinde over Shasha chaos
"The porter, although, parked his tomatoes but there are remnants of the spoiled tomatoes which he left unpacked.
"The woman in question asked the porter to pack the tomatoes but he refused and this led to the cobbler coming around to intervene."
Sources told Legit.ng that the porter was not satisfied with the intervention of the cobbler and so "he hit the cobbler who fell and sustained a head injury".
In the early hours of Friday, February 12, Shakirudeen was pronounced dead in the hospital where he was receiving treatment.
The police command in the state confirmed Shakirudeen's death later Friday evening.
Reprisal attacks were thereafter launched by the deceased's supporters and his people. A source told Legit.ng that two other persons apart from Shakiru have been killed.
A number of people have been wounded by dangerous weapons used by the warring factions that constituted Yoruba on one side and Hausa on the other hand.
The police team led by the commissioner of police had visited the market and met with the leadership of the community at the Palace of Seriki Hausa of Shasha.
The combined team of the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Army as well as the NSCDC and Amotekun were also on ground but could not help the situation as damages continued in the market.
Arson, maiming continue as marketers count loses
Legit.ng's reporter, Ridwan Kolawole, who visited Shasha but was prevented from assessing the market gathered that the mobile police officers were stationed at Onikoko junction of the road leading to the market.
A source told the reporter:
"Many people have already been wounded."
Legit.ng's reporter observed some houses being burnt and shops razed by fire at the outskirts of the main market in Ebedi Office area near Alphonso.
A businesswoman at the market who sells food items such as pasta, sugar, semo and condiments lamented:
"My daughter was in the market but she has left there now. I don't know the state of my shop now because they say they are burning all shops in the market. But what can I do?"
Exodus of residents
Many residents especially those who are not non-Yoruba have fled the community taking refuge at the Odogbo Barracks, Ojoo, Mokola and other areas.
Our reporter gathered that many non-Yoruba people were leaving the communities some on foot while sone hired vehicles to pack their loads.
Hoodlums at work
No fewer than seven trucks and four commercial cars have been vandalised while looting by the hoodlums continue unabated.
The hoodlums took advantage of the crisis as they destroyed windscreens of vehicles including tankers and trucks that brought tomatoes to the market from the north. They also carted away items such as batteries and other removable.
Remaining residents in the area are also afraid that the hoodlums may take advantage of the situation to attack innocent people in their homes.
Vigilante groups resuscitated
The youth among the few people at Onikoko, Ashawale, Ebedi, Niser Resettlement Abatakan, Ebedi and Alphonso constituted vigilante groups to watch over their respective communities just as many elderly people also vowed to keep vigil.
In the incident that has taken an ethnic colouration, some hoodlums of Yoruba extraction have given quit notice to their now estranged neighbours.
There is a tensed calm at Shasha community at the time of filing this report in the early hours of Saturday, February 13.