Sasa Killings: Victims buried in mass grave as death toll rises
Victims of ethnic killings in Sasa, Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State, have been buried in mass grave on Sunday night.
The violence, which started on Thursday, led to loss of lives, property and wanton arson.
It was gathered that 11 bodies were buried at the local Muslim cemetery around 7pm on Sunday.
Informed sources said so far the death toll had risen to 23, but the rest of the bodies were buried at a different cemetery to “douse tension”.
In an interview with DAILY NIGERIAN on Sunday night, the chairman of the market traders union, Usman Yako, said the death toll had risen to 23, with more reported discovery of corpses in the general area.
“So far 23 bodies have been found. Unconfirmed report tonight has it that more bodies were deposited at Sasa police station near Sarkin Sasa residence.
“Eleven bodies have been buried at the Muslim cemetery, while the rest were taken elsewhere in order to douse tension,” Mr Yako said.
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and his Ondo State counterpart, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, on Sunday, paid a visit to Sasa community in Ibadan.
The governors, while speaking with residents of the area, appealed for calm and harmonious peaceful coexistence between the Hausa and the Yoruba in the community.
The two governors, who also visited the palace of the traditional ruler of Sasa, urged residents of the community and the state in general to stop taking laws into their hands.
They implored the warring factions in the market to eschew violence and allow peace to reign.
Mr Makinde in particular, after assessing the level of destruction at the market, promised to give palliatives to those whose goods and property were affected by the mayhem.
He further stated that he was reluctant to declare curfew and close the market, “because I felt the economic wellbeing of everyone here is important and because this is where you get what you use to feed yourselves and your families.
“But to curb the crisis from escalating, I will engage your leaders this evening (Sunday).
“One thing is, if you allow those who don’t have anything to lose here to blow this matter out of proportion, no one will be able to say where the crisis will end.
“But please, I beg of you, let us stop fighting ourselves. I can assure you that we will deal with the situation.
“We must continue to maintain the peace here. Those who are hoodlums here will be dealt with but those who are law-abiding will be compensated for what they have lost,” he said.
On his own part, Mr Akeredolu, who said that he was in Oyo State on behalf of the South-West governors, appealed to aggrieved parties to stop fighting and allow peace to reign.