The Oyo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has labelled the security operatives in the state as unfair due to their handling of the violence that recently took place at the Sasa Market, Akinyele, Ìbàdàn.
Comrade Ademola Babalola, a member of the leadership of the state council of the NUJ, accused in a press release issued at the end of its monthly Congress, held on Sunday.
Remember Sasa Market was recently destroyed in a violent communal clash between the Yoruba natives and Hausa immigrants in the community.
The violent clash caused the death of one Shakirudeen Adeola, a Yoruba man who reportedly died as a result of a charm allegedly used on him by his assailant, a Hausa man.
The violence that followed 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, Seyi Makinde.
Seven suspects have been arrested by the state Police Command for having ties in leading the clash that led to the burning of several shops and houses in the area, with the seven suspects being only Yorubas.
Reacting to the arrest, Oyo NUJ, in the press release, criticized the action of the police in arresting a particular ethnic group when, in reality, two ethnic groups were involved in the crisis.
“The Congress decried the arrest of only Yoruba suspects, the aftermath of a recent public disturbance at Sasa Market, putting questions on the security agents’ partial operational approach,” the communique stated.
“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 machinery for effective security.
“That the Congress decried the arrest of only Yoruba suspects, the 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 the right to hold office and the post shall be filled through a by-election.”
The Congress, however, praised the Ademola Babalola-led leadership of the Oyo NUJ for the several developmental projects it has been implementing since it came into power in December 2019.
Importantly it noted the recent launch of 30-acre of land, acquired for the Journalists Estate on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway and the commencement 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).