Seyi Makinde, Oyo governor, has ordered the reopening of Shasha market in Ibadan, the state capital.
Makinde had ordered that the market be shut down and imposed a curfew on its surrounding areas following an ethnic clash that resulted in the loss of lives and properties.
The decision to reopen the market was reached during a meeting with the two warring communities in Shasha. The meeting held at the Western Hall, Secretariat, Ibadan, on Tuesday.
The governor said due to the economic situation, he would reopen the market for the traders to continue their commercial activities.
He also said the state is considering palliative measures for some of the affected traders.
“Considering the economic situation and the peculiarities we have with us, I have heard what you said, and we will immediately reopen the Sasa market. They will bring bulldozer to the market today,” he said.
“When my brother governors visited Seriki Sasa palace, while we were working around, I realised that both the people I saw at Seriki’s place and those I met at Baale’s place were not happy because they have been deprived of doing their job.
“If you look at Oyo state, even when the COVID-19 was at its peak, I decided not to shut our market places because I know and also explained to the leadership of the country at the national level that in our state, we have people that the proceeds from what they get today will determine if they will eat tomorrow or not.
“Since peace more or less returned to the market and the community, we have given the go-ahead that the market should be reopened.
“I have also given instructions for some palliative works to be done. I have instructed that solar light be installed in the market so that any time of the day or night, we will see what is going on in the market.
“The situation in our environment, economic activities are really very germane and basic. We have people out there, what they will make today, is what will determine whether they will eat tomorrow or not. And when you shut the place down, and people get hungry and again angry, then you precipitate another set of issues. So closing the market for an extended period of time, is actually not sustainable.”
While ordering that the market annex of Shasha, established in Iroko during the crisis, be shut, the governor instructed relevant agencies to immediately restructure the market and fix solar lights around the community to enhance activities in the area.
“The Iroko market will remain shut. From what we heard, the promoters of that market were actually part of the people causing confusion and causing problems at Shasha market,” he said.
“We will take a long-term view of Iroko market, but in the meantime, it remains shut.”
On the existing curfew placed on the market, the governor said once he gets the go-ahead from the commissioner of police that peace has returned to the community, the curfew will be lifted but security agencies will still dominate the area.
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