The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), has pledged to help rebuild the Shasha Market in Ibadan, Oyo State after it was burnt down in the wake of a crisis.
A delegation of the NGF led by the Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, delivered the promise after a tour of the troubled spot on Tuesday.
Bagudu, who was joined by his colleagues from Zamfara, Kano, and Niger States, however, noted that contrary to the pictures being circulated on social media, the calm had been restored in the city.
He also commended the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, for what was described as his efforts in restoring peace and normalcy to the community.
“We, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, are going to support. As a matter of fact, 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 mobilized,” Bagudu was quoted to have said in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Taiwo Adisa.
Governor Makinde, who led Governors Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi; Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Kano; Bello Muhammad Matawalle, Zamfara; and Abubakar Sanni Bello, Niger, to Shasha 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 Shasha community in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state.
While speaking at the palaces of Seriki Shasha and Baale Shasha, the governor called for calm and unity among the Hausas and Yorubas living in the community, urging everyone to join hands with the administration.
“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 was quoted to have said.
Speaking further, he 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.
The governor said: “Even before I became the governor, I have always had solid interaction with the Arewa community through Baba. I still remember that in 2013, I came here, and Baba was trying to make me feel comfortable.
“So, we have been together for long. I feel the pain of everybody involved here because properties were lost, and we can replace properties. It may be painful, but when the fire started, and I was contacted. I said they should send a fire truck here and the fire truck was vandalised, damaged.
“So, I told the people that it is annoying that we have to use money that could have been used for something else to replace the fire trucks and to rebuild all of these places. But those are minor cases; when a life is lost, we can’t replace it. We cannot make life. So, my message is that of peace.”