10 days after, Makinde orders reopening of Sasa market

• Says lifting of curfew will be based on security advice

Makinde orders reopening of SasaTen days after he gave a closure order, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Tuesday, directed the reopening of the Sasa market, Ibadan.

Recall that Makinde on February 13 ordered the immediate closure of the market at the height of violence that broke out in the market.

Makinde ordered the reopening at a meeting with the Yoruba and Hausa communities, security operatives and other stakeholders of the Sasa market held at the state Secretariat, Ibadan.

The Oyo governor hinged his decision on consideration for the current economic realities faced by Nigerians and the fact that continued closure of the market affected people’s livelihood.

In reopening the market, Makinde said he had given instructions for the market and surrounding areas be well lit so as to aid effective monitoring by security agencies and also boost economic activities there.

He also ordered the closure of the Iroko market where some Sasa traders had relocated to.

Makinde said: “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.”

“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 net at Baale’s place were not happy because they have been deprived of doing their job.”

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“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 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.

“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 a problem at the Sasa market. We will take a long term view of the Iroko market, but in the meantime, it remains shut.”

On the existing dusk to dawn curfew placed on the Sasa community, the governor said, “You can see the Commissioner of Police and the Deputy Inspector General of Police here, they are the ones maintaining the curfew. And if they tell me peace has returned to the community, the curfew will also be lifted. But security agencies will still dominate the area.”

The Deputy Inspector- General Police, (in charge of Southwest), DIG David Folawiyo who was in the meeting with the state Commissioner of Police in the state, Ngozi Onadeko, assured that the police will sustain its presence and regular surveillance of the market.

Earlier, the Baale of Sasa, Amusa Akinade-Ajani and the Seriki Sasa, Haruna Maiyasin apologised on behalf of the traders and warring factions over the ugly incident at the market.

They pledged to ensure that peaceful coexistence and brotherliness reign again in the Sasa market.


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