It has been reported that Yoruba and Hausa traders clashed at Bodija Market, Ibadan on friday leaving at least five people injured while property worth millions of naira were destroyed and littered all around the market.
At the entrance of the market, a commercial bicycle was set ablaze while the owner escaped with minor injuries.
Similarly, a truck loaded with food stuffs was vandalised inside the market. Traders with serious injuries were rushed to the hospital while Police vans were stationed at strategic positions within market.
Akeem Emiola, who is the Public Relations Officer, Ibadan Food Stuffs Sellers Association, Bodija Market, told reporters that there had been tension between the two groups since Yoruba traders were killed by Boko Haram members in Borno State.
On May 5, 2013, four traders were killed while 10 more were killed on June 28. 2013. Since the massacres were carried out, Yoruba traders had shunned the troubled zone, paving the way for Hausa traders to bring in food stuffs, especially beans from the North and sell at preferred prices.
Emiola said Friday’s clash was the climax of the tension that had been on the rise since the death of the 14 traders.
He said, “Since Boko Haram killed Yoruba traders from Bodija Market, traders could not go to the North to buy food stuffs but the Hausa traders have a means of sending the products especially beans to their kinsmen in Ibadan.
“The price has since risen beyond common man’s ability, which is a source of worry for the leadership of Bodija market union. There was tension in the market because only the Hausa traders have been selling beans in large quantity, leaving Yoruba traders idle.”
He added that there were rumours that a clash was imminent between the two ethnic groups, leading to a peace talk called by the community leaders in Bodija area, where all concerned parties were invited. But a solution remained elusive until Friday, when the state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Indabawa, invited all the parties involved to find a solution to the brewing crisis.
“On Friday, all the parties concerned met with the Commissioner of Police, where it was agreed that beans coming from the North should be divided equally between the two groups. But the truce only lasted a few hours as tension reached a boiling point,” said Emiola.