Following last week’s crisis in Shasa area and environs in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, hundreds of Hausa living in the state have started relocating to the North.
Some of the northerners who left the crisis-prone areas between Friday and Saturday said they paid security operatives between N5,000 and N10,000 to escort them to safer locations, including the residence of Sarkin Sasa, Alhaji Haruna Maiyasin.
One of the victims said they had to pay the money so that they would not be lynched.
“Some of us received monetary donations from our fellow Hausa community leaders to go back to our respective states in the North,” one of the displaced persons said.
He said they lost their belongings during Friday’s crisis, “and that is why we are going back to the North. We are lucky to be alive.”
Recall that a fight that ensued between the Hausa community and the native Yoruba community in Shasa Market, which started on Thursday, February 11, and snowballed on Friday, February 12, had led to the death of nearly 30 people.
The Sasha Market, with shops belonging to the Hausa and Yoruba, vehicles and many residential houses were burnt during the crisis.
Even though peace has reportedly been restored in Shasa and environs following the deployment of security agents, leaders of the Hausa community and some displaced residents said many of them, including women and children, had started moving back to the North.
Some of the victims said they had to leave Ibadan for the North because they lost all their belongings, including shops and houses, and there was no support from the government at the state and federal levels.
It was gathered that besides many of the northerners that left for Kano, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna, Jigawa and other states, about 500 are currently taking refuge at Akinyele’s Main Garage.
The head of the garage, Alhaji Yaro Abubakar, disclosed that the youths have been there since Friday and most of them trekked from Shasa Market and adjoining quarters.
A wealthy individual, one Alhaji Nasiru Muhammad Naharande (Youth Leader of the Hausa community in Ibadan), is providing three square meals to the victims at the garage.
Other well-to-do individuals were also assisting the displaced.
Most of the IDPs interviewed vowed not to return to the Shasa Market until the government took decisive measures to protect their lives and property.
The Magajin Garin Hausawa of Ibadan Land, Alhaji Usman Garba, confirmed on Monday that some members of the Hausa Community were going back to the North in droves.
According to him, “We have not seen any government intervention agency or NGO attending to our humanitarian needs.
“Our people are joining trailers and buses back to the North. They are returning to the North not because they were asked to go but because many of them have lost their belongings in the crisis.”
Asked about the security situation in Shasa, he said, “Our people are impressed because the police, DSS, Army, Civil Defence and men of Amotekun are here. They check people moving in and out of Shasa.”
On how they were managing the displaced in terms of feeding and other basic needs, Alhaji Garba said, “We have moved some of them to main Sabo in Mokola to reduce the burden on the house of Sarkin Sasa.
“We are also contributing money to feed and care for the victims.
“I wept when I went to Shasa. Many people were killed unreported. Our children have no place to sleep while others are hungry. Since that day, we have been contributing money for them to eat.
“I just called my younger brothers to bring the only remaining bag of rice in our house for those who are still in the house of Sarkin Hausawa.
“Government has not done anything in terms of humanitarian support,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Magajin Gari, who is a member of the committee set up to resolve the crisis, said there were immediate and remote causes of the crisis.
He said that they discovered the mastermind of the crisis in the area was from the Niger Republic. According to him, the immediate cause was the fight between a Nigerien and a lady in the market while the remote cause was the leadership tussle at the Shasa Market.
He said a comprehensive report on the findings of the committee, which was set up by Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, will be released after they completed their deliberations.
“The meeting will continue today,” the leader said.
On the remote cause of the problem, he said, “Traders in the market have been having issues for long. The Yoruba people are arguing that since the establishment of the market, it was only Hausa people that have been leading the market. They are insisting that they won’t accept any truce until a Yoruba man emerges as the chairman.
“Although our people said the market should be led by a Hausa man because they are the real people working in the market, we will continue the meeting tomorrow (today),” he said.