*calls for reopening of market
By; BAYO AKAMO,, Ibadan
Oyo State chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria, (SPN) on Monday condemned the bloody violence and destruction of property and looting that broke out around Shasha, Moniya and Ojo area in Ibadan, Oyo State, saying the bloody clash is inevitable.
The party in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan by its state Secretary, Comrade Ayodeji Adigun described the bloody violence as unfortunate and outcome of failure of capitalist governments.
SPN in the statement demanded an independent and democratic panel of inquiry into the violence and that the panel of inquiry should comprise of representatives of the Shasha markets traders, Ojo and Moniya Communities so as to unravel the real causes of the violence and find a lasting solution to it in and across Shasha community.;
“As far as we are concerned in SPN, violent clashes and destruction of this nature which was reported to be triggered by a mere disagreement between a cobbler and cart pusher identified to be an Hausa man on Thursday 11th February, 2021 at Shasha market is often inevitable in a society where there is so much anger occasioned by mass poverty, extreme inequality; lack of education, employment opportunity above all desperation to survive particularly among youths.”, it said.
SPN added, “we demand an independent and democratic panel of inquiry that will comprise of representatives of the Shasha markets traders, Ojo and Moniya Communities; trade union organizations like Nigeria labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union Congress, TUC, including professional Association like, Nigeria Bar Association, NBA for proper investigation of the cause of the violence and recommendations on how to avert future occurrence with a full compensation for the victims of the communal clash”.
The party maintained that “Shasha market and its environ like Ojoo and Moniya which are the epicenter of the crisis have been the haven of jobless street urchins and desperate menial workers who always gather in their hundreds on daily basis hoping to sell their manual labour.”, adding Many young men from the north in these areas live in precarious condition. In fact, the whole Hausa community in Shasha is an overcrowded slum, with many families living from hand to mouth”.
“This situation is an indication that the government and the society have failed the people in these areas regardless of their ethnic affiliations”, adding, “no wonder the areas have been an epicenter of various kinds of crimes like killings, kidnaping and raping of female residents before now.. Also important to note is that under this kind of situation, there is high chances that a simple and slight disagreement and misunderstanding among the people can always snowball into all forms of avoidable crisis like the one that has been ravaging the areas in the last 72 hours.
Commenting on the closure of Sasha market by the Oyo State Government, SPN said, “while the closure of Shasha market and imposition of curfew by the Oyo state government will apparently douse tension, we at the same hold that such measures are not enough without any concrete commitment on how to address the issues of mass poverty, youths unemployment and other social and economic crisis. With the restoration of normalcy, we call for the reopening of the market.”
“The continuous closure of the market could render idle and jobless, many youths and poor innocents’ families who earn living from their daily activities in the market, increase the desperation for survival and vulnerability of many youths being recruited into crimes in the areas. Again, there is high possibility that the security agencies, could also to take the advantage of the imposition of the curfew and resort to indiscriminate arrest, extortion, repression and criminal profiling.
” This will increase the loss of confidence in the security agencies something which is responsible for the outbreak of the violent clash itself as people now take to self-help instead of reporting their little disagreement and conflict to the police for arbitration or amicable settlement. Therefore, instead of infinite closure of Shasha market and imposition of curfew in the trouble area, SPN hereby calls for the establishment in both the market and the communities of a democratic and multi-ethnic defense committee that with a defined working relationship with the security agencies for an adequate protection and defense of the market and the communities.
The party emphasized that “most importantly, working people and youth have to demand from both Buhari led Federal government and Seyi Makinde government of Oyo state, adequate investment of the public fund on the basic needs of the people like education, jobs, infrastructure including payment of unemployment benefits as a response to the crises of mass poverty, the youth’s unemployment ravaging Oyo State and the country