Monday Update: Leaders Call for Calm in Shasha Market

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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 in Nigeria?

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.