Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State declared on Monday that his government will ensure that justice is served on all the victims of the crisis that erupted between Hausa and Yoruba residents of Sasa Market of Akinyele Local Government, Ibadan, at the weekend.
The governor disclosed that a judicial panel will also be inaugurated to investigate the crisis, adding that Peace and Security Committees will equally be put in place in all the zones of the state with a view to addressing the grievances and ensuring justice is served.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, also quoted the governor as appealing to angry residents of the area to sheathe their swords, warning that whenever the people see the potential dangers of words and actions, they must take precautions, saying: “It is time to think about our self-preservation. It is time to put Oyo State first.”
Governor Makinde, who maintained that contrary to news circulating in the social media, the state government has been able to bring the situation in Sasa under control, stated that the situation has been de-escalated since around 2 p.m. on Saturday, “a curfew was put in place and there has been no further unrest since then.”
The statement indicated that Governor Makinde stated these in a state-wide broadcast aired on the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State(BCOS) on Monday.
The governor warned residents not to take laws into their hands, even as he maintained that the government will deploy all the apparatus available to it to ensure that justice was done.
He said that the incident was unfortunate, adding: “I visited Sasa Market and Ojoo in Akinyele Local Government Area yesterday, and I have met the people affected by the crisis. I am saddened by the loss of lives. I feel your pain. I understand your anger and frustrations. We will make things right.”
The governor’s speech further read:
“As I stated yesterday, I have also ordered a full investigation into the immediate cause of the crisis and I promise that all culprits will be brought to book. Our administration will also be providing the needed support to ensure that those who lost their properties to the mayhem are compensated.
“I mourn the loss of lives that has occurred. Even when justice is served, nothing can bring back the dead. That is why I must also state that individuals who have taken to stoking up ethnic flames in Oyo State either through their utterances or actions or posts on social media are enemies of our state.”
He warned individuals leveraging the sad events in the state for political goals to desist, stating that such individuals and those who fan the embers of crisis are not friends of the state.
He said: “The people who have decided to leverage these sad events to further their political goals are not our friends. These people handing us petrol and matches will not stand with us when the fire turns into an inferno.
“When we see the potential dangers of words and actions, we must take precautions. It is time to think about our self-preservation. It is time to put Oyo State first.
“Let me make it clear, the socio-economic prosperity that has existed in Oyo State for about two years since this administration came into office, and the peace and confidence in government we have been building, is under threat. This threat will only succeed if we allow it to happen.”
The governor used the opportunity to commend security officers including the Police, Operation Burst, and the Amotekun Corps for the roles they have been playing in securing the state.
He equally pointed out that individuals doing a disservice to the state and sabotaging its efforts on security will face the wrath of the law, decrying the shooting of an Amotekun Corp by a Divisional Police Officer in Ogbomoso.
He maintained that a judicial panel will be set up to investigate the incident and that anyone found culpable will face the music, saying: “This is how justice works. People should be held accountable for their individual actions. A whole tribe, ethnic group, profession, or gender must not pay for the sins of one individual. It is totally unacceptable for any individual or individuals to take law into their own hands. That is jungle justice. Oyo State is not a jungle. We know that people are angry. People have a right to be angry.
“When the bridge between power and justice is broken, we are bound to witness unrest. But we cannot solve the problems of peaceful co-existence in anger.
“I appeal to every resident of Oyo State to sheath their swords. People have been wronged; I acknowledge this. Therefore, we are moving ahead with setting up the Peace and Security Committees in every zone of Oyo State. Starting today, these committees will be inaugurated. With the Peace and Security Committees, everyone’s grievances will be addressed and culprits will be brought to justice.
“Let me reiterate some people have made this about politics and a way to score political points at the expense of the lives of our people. For me, this is not about politics. This is about securing our lives. This is about preserving Oyo State for our children. This is about our future. Work with me as I work on ways to ensure lasting peace and security in our land.”