Mariam Abubakar, a 17-year-old food vendor at Shasha Market in Ibadan, Oyo State, where Yoruba and Hausa communities clashed last week on Wednesday said she would never forget her experience in the crisis.
She said her parents’ house was burnt down and that she had been sleeping on bare floor since then.
Also, according to her, all their belongings were burnt along with the house and all that she is left with are the clothes on her back.
Mariam said she was not in their shop when the crisis started but heard it started with a misunderstanding about a pregnant woman and a young boy from Niger Republic.
According to Mariam, who said she was born in Shasha, many of the victims of the incident are innocent people looking for their daily bread in the market.
She said, “I don’t really know what happened because we usually hawk food but I saw the attack. As we speak, I cannot say this is what happened but those in the market can tell us what happened. I went to our shop before we left Seriki Shasha’s house, Walai, I could not identify our shop again.
“My mum told me that she started hearing some noises, believing it was normal things because guys in the market usually make disturbing noises at times. She said suddenly, they entered our street and wherever they saw any Hausa person, they would set the house on fire.
“When I returned in the evening, I noticed many people had been killed. Aside from the clothes I have on, I was unable to take anything from our house.”
When asked whether she would return to Shasha now that the crisis is over, she said, “Even today, we heard somebody went to his house when he heard that the whole issue had been settled, but the man was thrown down from upstairs. In fact, he is still in the hospital now. Even those guys are going to hospitals to attack Hausa people. We need help. I cannot go back to Shasha again. The government should come to our rescue.
“The whole crisis could have been limited to the people directly involved, we don’t know why they attacked us like that. All of us were born here.”
Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi), and Abubakar Bello (Niger) on Tuesday visited the troubled Shasha Market in Ibadan to proffer a lasting solution to the recent clash between Yoruba and Hausa communities there.
Arriving at the market, the governors visited the palace of Seriki Shasha, Alhaji Haruna Maiyasin.
There was a heavy presence of security in strategic places within and outside the market with aerial surveillance by the Nigeria Police Force.
The team, which included security heads in the state, Special Adviser to Governor Makinde on Security, Mr. Fatai Owoseni; Chairman, Advisory Council, Senator Hosea Agboola; and former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Senator Monsurat Sumonu, were received warmly to the palace of Seriki Shasha.
The governors donated some money to the victims and promised to assist the victims further after the matter had been discussed at the next meeting of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.