At least 10 people have been killed, 70 sustained gunshots injuries and over 30 Northerners declared missing in a deadly attack on Sasa Market traders in Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State.
DAILY NIGERIAN gathered over 6,000 Northerners, mostly Hausas, are currently taking refuge at the residence of Sarkin Sasa, Haruna Maiyasin.
“I have over 6,000 displaced people packed in my house. Many people have been killed, while others injured,” Mr Maiyasin told DAILY NIGERIAN.
Witnesses said the crisis erupted on Thursday when a porter carrying a basket of tomato inadvertently nudged a Yoruba woman. The woman allegedly retaliated and organised a group of Yoruba thugs to avenge.
DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that after the fight, one of the thugs died in the hospital.
When the news of the death circulated, the Yoruba youths allegedly gathered and started attacking the Northern traders.
In a interview with DAILY NIGERIAN, the chairman of Sasa Market Traders, Usman Yako, said they informed the police immediately after the report of the death, but the police did not promptly respond to their call until the situation went out of control.
“We called the police to inform them about the issue, and possible break down of law and order, but they did not take action immediately until the situation deteriorated,” he said.
According to Mr Yako, when the operatives of the regional security outfit, Amotekun, came, they started shooting at Northern traders instead of protecting them from attack.
“When Amotekun came, they started shooting at Northerners. The hoodlums started setting houses ablaze, shooting and burning Hausa traders’ shops.
“It is apparent that it was a targeted attack on Hausas and other Northerners.
“The attack also spread to the Lagos-Ojo Expressway, which is not far from the market. Trailers belonging to Northerners were looted, burnt down, and the drivers slaughtered.
“We were invited to Government House yesterday (Friday), and two of us were delegated. Nothing was actually done to avert the crisis and safeguard our lives.
“We have so far counted 10 bodies in the hospital. Over 70 people sustained gunshot injuries. 30 people, including my own brother, are missing,” he added.
On Saturday, Governor Seyi Makinde imposed a curfew on the area and shut the market indefinitely.
A statement by Taiwo Adisa, the spokesman for Governor Seyi Makinde, indicated that the governor gave the order to forestall breakdown of law and order in the area.
The curfew is to run from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.
The statement warned residents of the affected area to go about their legitimate businesses peacefully, stating that anyone caught perpetrating violence will face the wrath of the law.