Lagos Govt Advises Residents Not To Panic Over Rise In Food Prices

Lagos consumes at least 50% of agricultural products in Nigeria.

 

The Lagos State government has asked residents not to panic due to the increase in the prices of food items.

Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso in a series of tweets on Tuesday assured Lagos residents that food security is guaranteed, despite the crisis.

He added that the state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is “on top of it.”

Lagosians have been advised not to panic following reports that trucks conveying food from the North are stuck on the way.

READ ALSO: Alleged $330,000 Fraud: EFCC Prosecutes Dutch National, Wife

“The government is aware of the situation and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is on top of it.  He has initiated steps to ensure the matter is resolved by the weekend,” he said.

Omotoso said the spike in food prices is a result of the clash between traders in Shasha market, Ibadan.

“Food and cattle merchants from the North have withheld supplies, an action that has sparked rising prices.

“Lagos consumes at least 50% of agricultural products in Nigeria,” he added.

 

On the return of Lekki Concession Company (LCC) to the Lekki Toll Gate, the Commissioner said that contrary to the misconception in some circles, the facility will not resume tolling soon, considering its destruction during the #ENDSARS riots.

He said repairs would leverage technology for a better travel experience to eliminate time wastage.

 

– Food Blockage –

Prices of food items have increased in major cities including Lagos and Ibadan following the strike embarked upon by cattle and foodstuff dealers under the aegis of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN).

The union is demanding the protection of its members and payment of about N475 billion compensation for lives and property lost in the wake of the crises recorded across Nigeria in recent months.

The dealers are also demanding the removal of roadblocks, which they said is responsible for the extortion of their members by security operatives.

 

Shasha Crisis: Makinde Approves Immediate Reopening Of Market

Seyi Makinde, Oyo State Governor

 

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has approved the reopening of Shasha market following the closure of the market.

The decision was reached on Tuesday after a meeting with Shahsha market stakeholders weeks after it was shut down following an outbreak between Hausa and Yoruba communities.

The governor has also ordered the immediate deployment of bulldozers to clear the rubble left in the wake of the crisis.

READ ALSO: Buhari Receives Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, In Abuja

The re-opening of the market was agreed on after weeks of extensive deliberations with market leaders from both the Yoruba and Hausa communities who have committed to ensuring peaceful coexistence in the market.

The governor stated that due to the economic situation and the peculiarities associated with the state, he would reopen the market for the traders to continue with their commercial activities.

“If you look at Oyo State, even when the COVID-19 was at its peak, I decided not to shut our market places because I know and also explained to the leadership of the country at the national level that in our state, we have people that the proceeds from what they get today will determine if they will eat tomorrow or not.

“Since peace more or less returned to the market and the community, we have given the go-ahead that the market should be reopened,” the governor said.

See photos from the meeting:

 

Ibadan Crisis: Governors’ Forum Pledges To Help Rebuild Shasha Market

A map of Oyo, a state in south-west Nigeria.

 

The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), has pledged to help rebuild the Shasha Market in Ibadan, Oyo State after it was burnt down in the wake of a crisis.

A delegation of the NGF led by the Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, delivered the promise after a tour of the troubled spot on Tuesday.

Bagudu, who was joined by his colleagues from Zamfara, Kano, and Niger States, however, noted that contrary to the pictures being circulated on social media, the calm had been restored in the city.

He also commended the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, for what was described as his efforts in restoring peace and normalcy to the community.

“We, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, are going to support. As a matter of fact, we have given a token to those who are already displaced, and we will meet at a wider table tomorrow and can assure that more support will be mobilized,” Bagudu was quoted to have said in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Taiwo Adisa.

Governor Makinde, who led Governors Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi; Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Kano; Bello Muhammad Matawalle, Zamfara; and Abubakar Sanni Bello, Niger, to Shasha community, said that his government would continue to look for avenues to restore peaceful co-existence.

He declared that the unity of Nigeria and the need to restore peace were weightier than political divides, adding that his administration was ready to ensure peaceful co-existence among the residents of Shasha community in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state.

Read Also: ‘We’ll Continue To Work For National Stability’; President Buhari Assures Nigerians

While speaking at the palaces of Seriki Shasha and Baale Shasha, the governor called for calm and unity among the Hausas and Yorubas living in the community, urging everyone to join hands with the administration.

“As a government, we will continue to look for an avenue to restore a peaceful co-existence for all of us. Please, I want you to join hands with us and we also acknowledge that sometimes, we process information and we may not get to the roots of the issue. If you see something, say something to us and we will address the challenges frontally,” the governor was quoted to have said.

Speaking further, he explained that his relationship with the Arewa community through the Seriki, dated back years before he became governor of the state, adding that his message to all sides is to give peace a chance.

The governor said: “Even before I became the governor, I have always had solid interaction with the Arewa community through Baba. I still remember that in 2013, I came here, and Baba was trying to make me feel comfortable.

“So, we have been together for long. I feel the pain of everybody involved here because properties were lost, and we can replace properties. It may be painful, but when the fire started, and I was contacted. I said they should send a fire truck here and the fire truck was vandalised, damaged.

“So, I told the people that it is annoying that we have to use money that could have been used for something else to replace the fire trucks and to rebuild all of these places. But those are minor cases; when a life is lost, we can’t replace it. We cannot make life. So, my message is that of peace.”

 

 

Governor Makinde also commended the NGF for coming together to identify with the state and to show solidarity with efforts to unite all sides.

“We all have to come together, and I thank my brother governors that have come here, first to identify with us in this period of crisis and also to show solidarity with our efforts towards uniting everybody.

“So, again, on behalf of the government and people of Oyo State, I want to thank Your Excellencies for your time this morning. This is a period to show leadership for the country at the top level and you can see that it is appalling seeing that some people are trying to politicise issues of security and loss of lives.

“My brother here is the governor of Zamfara, and he is from the PDP. I am PDP but the issue of unity in Nigeria transcends PDP, APC, and all of that. That is why we are coming together in one accord to find a solution that will restore peace to Oyo State and to our country.”

Meanwhile, the governor urged those he described as promoters of fake news to desist from spreading falsehood, saying that fake news can easily stoke fires in society.

“And we have observed also that some people have made it a duty to be mongering fake news. They are the ones stoking fire around here and some of the people that are not aware will easily buy into it and start doing something that we will all regret later.

“I want to urge the promoters of fake and divisive news to please desist. Let us have the chance to give our people the opportunity to earn their decent living,” he added.

Speaking on the relocation of some traders to Iroko, governor Makinde declared that he has also closed the said market, adding that every stakeholder in the markets must sign an undertaking to maintain peace before he would agree to reopen the market.

While speaking on behalf of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum shortly after the inspection, Governor Bagadu, explained that the motive of the governors’ visit was to commiserate with the government and people of the state on the unfortunate incident that led to the destruction of properties in the state.

He called on Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, and other tribes living in fear to send their community leaders to the Government House in Ibadan, so that the government could address their fears.

Atiku Bagudu said: “For the generality of all Nigerians, it is important to know that the streets of Ibadan are calm. People are not chasing one another. People are supporting one another to resume normalcy.

“To those outside Ibadan, particularly the Northern states, we want to extend that the regrettable incident has happened, but it is not a tribal but a regrettable conflict that different communities in Oyo State are holding themselves to sort out.”

The Kebbi governor added the Nigerian Governor’s Forum will assist the state government in rebuilding the market and providing palliative for the victims, saying: “We were well received by our host, Governor Makinde, who briefed us about what happened. And, today, he has taken us to Shasha market. On our way, we had a stop-over at Bodija market and we are pleased that we saw Nigerians of different tribes at the market conducting activities, which is evidence of a return of normalcy.

“In fact, we saw some onion sellers from different states, including Kebbi, Zamfara, and Sokoto and other states.

“We went to Shasha market and saw the destruction but more than the destruction was a regrettable loss of lives that was caused by a condemnable spontaneous response to emotions because both the Hausa and Yoruba community were unanimous that two issues led to this situation.

“One, there had been contention over the leadership of the Shasha market but even though the Seriki Sasa and Baale of Shasha are in agreement about leadership, other interested groups were not so in agreement. So, there was this undercurrent playing out.

“On the other hand, there was somebody pushing a wheelbarrow with tomatoes and it fell in front of a shop. Ordinarily, one would have thought such is normal in a market but since emotions are pent up, unfortunately, we had such a situation. We sympathise with all those who lost their lives and property.

“We saw the damage and we appreciate what the governor has done so far. We have seen what the security agencies have also done, and we are glad that things are returning to normalcy.

“The Seriki Sasa and Baale have confirmed that everyone is ready to stay and conduct their lawful activities and the governor has assured that he will continue to ensure that all communities continue to live without fear,” he added.

Crisis: Northern Governors, Seyi Makinde Visit Shasha Market

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde and some northern governors during the visit to Shasha market on Tuesday, February 16, 2020.

 

Some northern governors alongside Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde on Tuesday visited Shasha Market in Ibadan the state capital to assess the destruction at the scene of the clash between Yoruba and Hausa communities.

The governors include Abdulahi Ganduje of Kano State; Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Bello Matawalle of Zamfara and Abubakar Sanni of Niger States.

They were accompanied by security agents as they went round the market to assess the level of damage done.

READ ALSO: Shasha Crisis: Northern Governors Arrive Oyo, Meet Makinde Behind Closed Doors

The delegation later went into consultations with the Seriki Alhaji Haruna Maiyasin after which they would also visit the Baale of Shasha to appeal to both sides to stop hostilities and forge a more formidable bond for peaceful coexistence.

The delegation had earlier came into Ibadan on Monday night to visit the area where violence raged last Friday leading to the destruction of lives and property.

See photos from their visit below…

Crisis: IGP Deploys Intervention, Stabilisation Team To Oyo State

IGP Mohammed Adamu

 

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu has ordered the immediate deployment of Police Intervention and Stabilization Forces to Oyo State.

This was announced in a statement signed on Monday by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba.

Mba said the teams have been deployed to reclaim the public space, reinforce security and bolster public confidence in the areas affected by the recent crisis in the State.

READ ALSO: Shasha Violence: Do Not Take Laws Into Your Hands, Akeredolu Tells Ibadan Residents

“The deployments, consisting largely of intelligence and operational assets of the Force, include four (4) Units of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), seasoned operatives from the Force Intelligence Bureau, and one (1) operational/surveillance Police helicopter from the Police Air-wing department.

“The Intervention Force is charged with the responsibility of reinforcing and stabilizing security in the State, preventing further breakdown of law and order, protecting lives and properties and ultimately enhancing public safety and general security in the State,” he added.

The Intervention team is being coordinated by a Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG David Folawiyo who is expected to mobilise all relevant stakeholders towards achieving the mandate of the squad.

The Oyo State Government had earlier on Saturday ordered the immediate closure of Shasha market in Akinyele Local Government Area of Ibadan, the state capital.

The market was closed after an ethnic clash was recorded on Friday, the government also imposed a curfew on Shasha and the market area.

Monday Update: Leaders Call for Calm in Shasha Market

 

Good morning,

We are covering the ethnic violence in Shasha market, a protest at the Lekki toll gate, and the fragile security situation in several states.


A file photo of Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.
A file photo of Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.

A Call for Calm in Shasha

The ethnic clash between traders at the Shasha market in Ibadan, Oyo State, has prompted leaders across the country to call for calm.

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde and his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, visited the market on Sunday and appealed to all the traders to halt the destruction and embrace dialogue.

Former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, also called for all Nigerians to embrace peace, regardless of ethnic affiliations.

Quote: “We have been coexisting for a long time,” Akeredolu said at the market. “We should consider the past and remember how far we have come together. The situation cannot remain this way forever.”

Buhari: The Presidency, in a Sunday statement, condemned all forms of ethnic violence and said it “will act decisively to stop the spread of any such violence.”

Osinbajo: Meanwhile, the Vice President has also condemned the Shasha market violence. “When a disagreement arises between individuals or a criminal act is committed by one against the other, we must ensure that we see it for what it is, a criminal act, which must be punished according to law and not an ethnic conflict.

Context: Violence in Nigeria is usually viewed along ethnic and religious lines. The Shasha market clash is the latest example.


A protester decried the reopening of the Lekki toll gate on February 13, 2021.
A protester decried the reopening of the Lekki toll gate on February 13, 2021.

Police Foil Lekki Protest

On Saturday, the Nigerian police deployed ample resources to stop protests at the Lekki Toll Gate.

The protesters were seeking a stop to the reopening of the Lekki toll gate.

While the Federal Government and Lagos state authorities had warned against the protests for fear of escalating violence, as witnessed last October, critics argued that the constitution guaranteed citizens the rights to peaceful assembly.

On D-day, some protesters showed up and the police moved to arrest them – about 39 in total, including popular comedian, Debo Adebayo, well-known as Mr Macaroni.

Rights Abuses: In a video released on Sunday, Mr Macaroni said the police stripped and beat arrested protesters, a violation of their constitutional rights.

Watchdog: The Lagos state government distanced itself from the police’s action in detaining the protesters and said it will ask the Commissioner of Police to give an account of what transpired on Saturday.

Quote: “We condemn any act of brutality on the part of the police,” the state’s Commissioner of Justice said on Sunday Politics.  “The Nigerian police force is a legal entity of its own, with its own processes. But the role of the police stops when it comes to prosecution. The state government will ask the CP to give an account of what happened.”


A file photo of a gun seized from crime suspects in Nigeria.

A Fragile Security Situation

Over the weekend, the security situation in several states remained fragile.

Some 18 travellers have been kidnapped by bandits at Yakila village in Rafi Local government Area of Niger State. In Kaduna, a man and his son were killed by suspected bandits in Igabi Local Government Area, barely one week after 23 people were killed in five Local Government Areas of the state.

The Nigerian Air Force on Saturday said it lost some of its personnel to bandits in Kaduna.

In Ogun State, criminals were said to have invaded a community, killed three people, and set houses ablaze. Residents told Channels Television that the attackers struck when residents were still sleeping, adding that nine others were injured in the middle of the night.

Intervention: A Federal Government delegation led by the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, will meet with Governors of the seven North-West states to discuss a pathway to lasting peace and security across the country.

The Monguno delegation had earlier met with Service Chiefs, heads of law enforcement, and intelligence agencies.


What else is happening?

Infrastructure: The Central Bank of Nigeria has signed a memorandum of understanding with contractors to renovate the National Arts Theatre.

SERAP: The civil society group has sued President Muhammadu Buhari over the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).

Lateef Jakande: Days after his death, the memories of Lagos State’s first civilian Governor has been shared with incumbent Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Fayose: The former Ekiti State Governor said Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State cannot be his leader in the South-west region.

NCDC: Nigeria recorded 520 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and five deaths on Sunday, the disease control agency said.

Ebola: Guinea has recorded seven new cases of the deadly disease, including three deaths. The head of the country’s health agency said the West African nation was in the midst of an Ebola “epidemic situation”.

Bill Gates: Solving the COVID-19 pandemic will be “very, very easy” compared to solving climate change, the Microsoft founder has said. According to him, the world produces 51 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases every year. To save our planet, we need to get that figure to zero.


And that’s it for this morning. See you tomorrow.

 

 

 

Buhari Condemns Violence, Promises FG Will Act Decisively

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over a Virtual Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Kano-Katsina-Jibya-Maradi with a branch line to Dutse Railway Project in State House on February 9. 2021.
President Muhammadu Buhari presided over a Virtual Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Kano-Katsina-Jibya-Maradi with a branch line to Dutse Railway Project in State House on February 9. 2021.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the attacks across the country and he has renewed the promise of his administration to protect all religious and ethnic groups, whether in the majority or minority.

The President made the promise in a statement issued on Sunday, in reaction to reports of the breakout of violence in some parts of the country by some ethnic and sectional groups and more recently, the violence that occurred in Shasha market in Ibadan, Oyo State on Saturday.

He condemned such violence and gave the assurance that his government will act decisively to stop the spread of such.

Read Also: Violence: Oyo Shuts Down Shasha Market, Imposes Curfew

He also warned that the government will not allow any ethnic or religious group to stoke up hatred and violence against other groups.

The President also appealed to religious and traditional leaders as well governors and other elected leaders across the country to join hands with the Federal Government to ensure that communities in their domain are not splintered along ethnic and other primordial lines.

Osinbajo Condemns Shasha Violence, Calls For Peace

File photo of Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 

Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo has condemned the violence that led to the loss of lives at the Shasha Market, in Oyo State, calling for peace between the northern traders and those in the southwest.

Professor Osinbajo made the appeal while addressing journalists after he paid a condolence visit to the family of the late Chief Lateef Jakande in Lagos State, describing the incident as unfortunate and tragic.

The Vice President said the market has been a melting pot for traders bringing foodstuff from the north to the southwest for decades and they have lived in peace and even inter-married.

He believes that when a disagreement arises between individuals or a criminal act is committed by one against the other, Nigerians must ensure that they see it for what it is, (a criminal act) which must be punished according to law and not as an ethnic conflict.

The Vice President also believes that every Nigerian has a constitutional right to live, work and enjoy their lives in safety, peace under the law.

Read Also: [Shasha Violence] Do Not Take Laws Into Your Hands, Akeredolu Tells Ibadan Residents

He, therefore, maintained that it is the duty of government through the police and other law enforcement agencies to arrest and prosecute any person who commits a crime against a citizen and it is also the role of the citizen to assist the police to identify the criminals.

“We must never take the law into our own hands, if we do we will be promoting chaos, and a breakdown of law and order, and all of us especially the most vulnerable amongst us, will be at risk.  I urge all community leaders to work together to preserve the brotherly co-existence that our people from different parts of the country have enjoyed in Shasha market for several decades,” Osinbajo said.

Violence: Oyo Shuts Down Shasha Market, Imposes Curfew

 

The Oyo State Government on Saturday ordered the immediate closure of Shasha market in Akinyele Local Government Area of Ibadan, the state capital.

The market was closed after an ethnic clash was recorded on Friday.

According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the government said the order was to forestall breakdown of law and order in the area.

The government also imposed a curfew on Shasha and the market area.

The curfew is to run from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.

READ ALSO: We’ll End Kidnapping And Insecurity In Oyo, Makinde Vows

The government 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.

“His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde has directed the immediate closure of Shasha market indefinitely following reports of a breach of peace in the area,” the government’s statement said.

“The governor has also approved the imposition of curfew on Shasha. It will run from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.

“Residents of the affected area are enjoined to go about their legitimate businesses within the hours stipulated by the law.

“Anyone caught disrupting the peace of the community will be made to face the wrath of the law.”

Hoodlums Attack Ibadan Market, Destroy Vehicles, Other Valuables

Commercial activities at Shasha market, one of the largest vegetable markets in Oyo State has been grounded as a result of violence unleashed by hoodlums who attacked the market.

The crisis erupted the wee hours of the Friday when some hoodlums allegedly came with dangerous weapons to attack traders and some residents of the area.

Security agents have since arrived the market to ensure normalcy is restored and to prevent escalation of the crisis.

Oyo State police commissioner Shina Olukolu who led a team of security men to the scene dispelled the rumour that it was a fight between Yoruba and Hausa communities at Shasha.

He then assured that calm has been restored to the market and security agents are on standby to ensure no further breach of peace in the market or any other within the state.

 

See more photos from the scene of the incident below…