Kehinde Olufemi, The Profile Newspaper, Lagos

Nigeria’s Vice President, His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has described as tragic, the loss of lives and property at the popular Sasha Market, Ibadan in Oyo state, saying it’s an act of criminality which must be treated as such.

Osinbajo, who stated this on Sunday while fielding questions from journalists after paying condolence visit to the family of the late first civilian governor of Lagos state, Chief Lateef Jakande in Ilupeju, however averred that criminality of such magnitude could only go unpublished if citizens failed to identify the culprits for proper sanctioning in accordance with the law.

The Vice President said “I have heard about the unfortunate mayhem and the tragic loss of lives at the Shasha market in the past few days.  Shasha market  has been a melting  pot for traders bringing foodstuff from the North to the Southwest for decades”. 

While speaking more in the import of the affected market, Prof. Osinbajo who described Sasha as a place of unity said “For decades traders from the North have done business with their brothers from the Southwest  and  they have lived in peace  and even inter-married. Shasha is a place of unity. 

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“So 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. Not an ethnic conflict”.

Osinbajo, a Professor of Law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, who noted that it was the duty of government through its law enforcement agents to prosecute criminals, however called on Nigerians to desist from taking laws into their own hands.

He said “Every Nigerian has a constitutional right to live, work and enjoy their lives  in safety, peace under the law. 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 of this nation. It is 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. 

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I commend the governor for his swift and decisive action  and all the law enforcement agencies for their prompt intervention”.