The Oyo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has accused the security operatives in the state of being partial in their handling of the violence that recently broke out at the Sasa Market in Akinyele Local Goverment Area of the state.
The state council of the NUJ, under the leadership of Comrade Ademola Babalola, made the accusation in a communique issued at the end of its monthly Congress, held on Sunday.
Recall that the popular Sasa Market was recently engulfed in a violent communal clash between the Yoruba indigenes and Hausa settlers in the community.
The sad development resulted in the death of one Shakirudeen Adeola, a Yoruba man who reportedly died as result of a charm allegedly placed on him by his assailant, a Hausa man.
The ensuing violence led to the destruction of properties worth hundreds of millions of naira, resulting in the imposition of curfew and closure of the market by the state governor, Engineer ‘Seyi Makinde.
Seven suspects were arrested by the state Police Command in connection with the burning of several shops and houses in the area, with the seven suspects only being of Yoruba ethnic group.
Reacting to the development, Oyo NUJ, in the communique, condemned the action of the police in arresting only some members of a particular ethnic group when, in actual fact, two ethnic groups were involved in the crisis.
“The Congress decried the arrest of only Yoruba suspects, aftermath of a recent public disturbance at Sasa Market, putting questions on the security agents’ partial operational approach,” the communique stated.
The Congress also urged the Federal Government and the Oyo State government to beef up security network nationwide for the security of lives and property.
“After extensive deliberations by members, the following decisions were taken as follows:
“That the Federal Government should beef up security network nationwide for the security of lives and property; that Oyo State government should put in place all machineries for effective security.
“That the Congress decried the arrest of only Yoruba suspects, aftermath of a recent public disturbance at Sasa Market, putting questions on the security agents’ partial operational approach.
“That the congress condemned the spate and excesses of customs officers breaking shops to confiscate alleged contraband goods.
“That government at all level should put up a synergy to end porous security network across Nigeria, to safeguard the nation’s territorial integrity.”
The Congress also called on the former Vice President of the NUJ (B Zone), Comrade Cosmas Olalekan Oni to henceforth stop parading himself as such, in line with Article 6, Section 8 of the NUJ Constitution.
The Congress noted that Oni has ceased to be a member of the Oyo NUJ, having retired from public service (the platform through which he became the Vice President B Zone) since 19 August, 2020.
The Congress quoted Article 6 (8), noting that “if any officer retires or becomes unemployed, he shall be allowed to continue in office for six months after which, he ceases to be a member of NUJ. No such person should have right to hold office and the post shall be filled through a bye-election.”
The Congress, however, lauded the Ademola Babalola-led leadership of the Oyo NUJ for the various developmental projects it has been executing since it came into in December, 2019.
It particularly noted the recent launch of 30-acre of land, acquired for the Journalists Estate on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway and the take off of the Journalists Trust Fund to provide interest-free loans and cater for members in distress.
Signatories to the communique included Comrades Sola Samuel-Ojewole (Chairman, Communique Drafting Committee); Dupe Fehintola and Musiliudeen Adebayo (members).