How Dispute Between Two Traders Turned Into An Attack On Northerners In Oyo State

Some of the destroyed properties during the Oyo violence

Written by Ummu-Salma Ahmad

Ummu-Salma Ahmad is a student and a freelance writer mainly working on entertainment and news reports. A bibliophile who loves to eat.

February 16, 2021

A small altercation in the Sasa market, Oyo State has led to an ethnic attack on the Hausa inhabitants in different parts of the state. Several lives and properties have been lost as a result of the havoc that was wrecked upon the Hausa residents by the Yoruba people of the state. A lot of injuries have been sustained as well, and the majority of the Hausas are leaving Oyo State in buses or any other form of transportation they can hop on, to save their lives and what’s left of their belongings that have not been burnt.

Some of the houses of Northerners destroyed during the ethnic violence in Oyo state

Properties of Northerners worth millions were also destroyed

How The Dispute Began

The onslaught, as narrated by a Nana Aisha who claims to be an eye witness, began after a Niger man who was carrying tomatoes lost grip of the basket and the tomatoes soiled the shop of a Yoruba woman. She insisted that he wash her shop but he explained he couldn’t as there was no water in the market. This attracted the attention of a Yoruba man who also insisted that the Niger man wash her shop.

The Yoruba man got violent and slapped the Niger man who retaliated. This resulted in the death of the Yoruba man which was confirmed after he was rushed to the hospital when he lost consciousness. Another person who was present when the incident happened posted online that a Hausa man had slapped a Yoruba man to death and the assaults began.

Another version of the story is that a man carrying a basket of tomatoes accidentally pushed a Yoruba woman. The woman retaliated and organized a group of thugs to beat him up and one of the thugs died after the fight in a hospital. Over a hundred Hausa people have sustained injuries, including gunshot injuries and a lot more are missing while over 6,000 of the northern people who reside in Oyo state are seeking refuge at the residence of Haruna Maiyasa, the emir of Sasa – where the fight broke out first. Their houses, shops, cars, and trucks have been burnt down by the ethnic militia.

“I have over 6,000 displaced people packed in my house. Many people have been killed, while others injured,” Mr. Maiyasin said in an interview. The chairman of Sasa Market Traders, Usman Yako also said “The attack 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”.

The northerners also face treatment problems as most of the hospitals are on strike in the state while those who are not requesting the sum of fifty thousand naira to treat each injured person. Food and other supplies are being made available to them through donations, while they wait out the violence. Although many of the northerners have left Oyo state, some whose houses have not been burnt down desire to go back to their various residences in the state.

Efforts of Northerners On Social Media

Meanwhile, a group of young Northerners on Twitter, have opened an account with the sole aim of helping the victims relocate back home, with the aid of Feed the Needy Charity, a charity organization. Through this effort, hundreds of Northerners who have been left stranded following the burning of their houses and properties have been transported back home.

Related: How #EndInsecurity Protesters Shut Down Zaria

This came as the #stopkilingnortherners trended for days on social media.

What do you think of their efforts?

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