The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), on Tuesday, pledged to help rebuild the Shasa Market, Ibadan, which was burnt down in the wake of the crisis that engulfed the market last week.
A delegation of the NGF led by the governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, which visited Ibadan, delivered the promise after a tour of the trouble spot.
Bagudu, who was joined by his colleagues from Zamfara, Kano, and the Niger States, said that the city of Ibadan was calm, contrary to the pictures being circulated on social media.
He commended the Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde for what he has done so far in restoring peace and normalcy to the community, adding that the streets of Ibadan are calm and peaceful.
Bagudu said: “We, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, are going to support. We have given a token to those who are already displaced, and we will meet at a wider table tomorrow and can assure that more support will be mobilised.”
Governor Makinde, who led Governors Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi; Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Kano; Bello Muhammad Matawalle, Zamfara; and Abubakar Sanni Bello, Niger, to Sasa community, said that his government would continue to look for avenues to restore peaceful co-existence.
He declared that the unity of Nigeria and the need to restore peace were weightier than political divides, adding that his administration was ready to ensure peaceful co-existence among the residents of Shasa community in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state.
While speaking at the palaces of Seriki Shasa and Baale Shasa, the governor called for calm and unity among the Hausas and Yorubas living in the community, urging everyone to join hands with the administration.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa, indicated that he appreciated the governors for coming together in one accord to find a way to restore peace to Oyo State and the country.
He said: “As a government, we will continue to look for an avenue to restore a peaceful co-existence for all of us. Please, I want you to join hands with us and we also acknowledge that sometimes, we process information and we may not get to the roots of the issue. If you see something, say something to us and we will address the challenges frontally.”
The governor explained that his relationship with the Arewa community through the Seriki dated back years before he became governor of the state, adding that his message to all sides is to give peace a chance.
Governor Makinde also commended the NGF for coming together to identify with the state and to show solidarity with efforts to unite all sides.
“We all have to come together, and I thank my brother governors that have come here, first to identify with us in this period of crisis and also to show solidarity with our efforts towards uniting everybody.”
The governor equally urged the promoters of fake news to desist from spreading falsehood, saying that fake news can easily stoke fires in the society.
Speaking on the relocation of some traders to Iroko, the governor declared that he has also closed the said market adding that every stakeholder in the markets must sign an undertaking to maintain peace before he would agree to reopen the market.
While speaking on behalf of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum shortly after the inspection, Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagadu, explained that the motive of the governors’ visit was to commiserate with the government and people of the state on the unfortunate incident that led to the destruction of properties in the state.
He called on Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, and other tribes living in fear to send their community leaders to the Government House, Ibadan, so that the government could address their fears.
The Kebbi governor added the Nigerian Governor’s Forum will assist the state government in rebuilding the market and providing palliative for the victims, saying: “We were well received by our host, Governor Makinde, who briefed us about what happened. And, today, he has taken us to Shasa market. On our way, we had a stop-over at Bodija market and we are pleased that we saw Nigerians of different tribes at the market conducting activities, which is evidence of the return of normalcy.
Meanwhile, Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has donated N18.5 million to 185 indigenes of the state who were victims of the Shasa market mayhem in Ibadan.
Alhaji Garba Mohammed, Kano State Commissioner for Information, who led the state government delegation, gave each of the victims N100,000 on Tuesday in Ibadan.
Mohamned said that the governor had directed them to visit the victims who were indigenes of Kano State to see how they are faring and how the state government could support them.
“We have about 185 people who are indigenes of Kano, affected by this unfortunate incident. We have made our calculations that every one of them will get N100,000.
“Those of them who have gone to Kano, we will also see and discuss with the governor. We will identify them in Kano and give them the money,” he said.
The commissioner who expressed sadness over the unfortunate incident called for synergy among the governors as well as security agencies.