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Yoruba northern community leaders urge calm over Shasha crisis

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People walk past dozens of baskets full of tomatoes vandalised during deadly ethnic clashes between the northern Fulani and southern Yoruba traders at Shasha Market in Ibadan, southwest Nigeria, on February 15, 2021. – Nigerian President vowed to protect all religious and ethnic groups in the country after deadly clashes erupted between different communities at a market in the southwest over the weekend. Long-standing rivalry over access to land and resources between northern Fulani herders and southern Yoruba farmers are behind renewed ethnic tensions across the south. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)


Leaders of the Council of Yoruba Community in northern states and Abuja have appealed for calm and restraint among the people in the region over the events in some states of the South-West.

The appeal was contained in a statement issued in Kaduna yesterday following tension and fear resulting from recent reports of crisis in Shasha, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

President of Yoruba community, Alhaji Yinka Olapade, who signed the statement, said Shasha crisis was generating anxiety and unease in towns and cities around the country.

Olapade stressed that unconfirmed reports showed that several lives and property were lost during the fracas “which root causes cannot be traced to anything other than deep-seated prejudices and primordial sentiments.”

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He added that, while they commiserated with all those affected, “we wish to appeal that we all bury the hatchet and begin to lay a foundation for enduring peace and progress in our society.”

The community, therefore, appealed for genuine peace processes that should be instituted in Shasha and all other flashpoints across the country.

It also said that the initiatives already taken by governors should be actively supported and promoted by all to ensure peace and harmony.

According to the statement, the federal and state governments should work harder to ensure social harmony, adding: “Our legislators at federal and state levels should set in motion a review of our laws with a view to removing those that constitute impediments to our peaceful co-existence.

“We wish to restate belief in the unity of the country and affirm conviction that the overall best interest will only be served through an indivisible one Nigeria to which every part and component are unflinchingly committed.

“As peace-loving people, let us all rededicate ourselves and pray fervently for unalloyed peace and collective progress of Nigeria.”

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