My Dear People of Oyo State,
It has become necessary to speak to you following the unfortunate incident at Sasa market in Ibadan. I visited Sasa market and Ojoo in Akinyele Local Government Area, yesterday, and I have met the people affected by the crisis.
I am saddened by the loss of lives. I feel your pain. I understand your anger and frustrations. We will make things right.
As I stated yesterday, I have also ordered a full investigation into the immediate cause of the crisis and I promise that all culprits will be brought to book. Our administration will also be providing the needed support to ensure that those who lost their properties to the mayhem are compensated.
I mourn the loss of lives that has occurred. Even when justice is served, nothing can bring back the dead. That is why I must also state that individuals who have taken to stoking up ethnic flames in Oyo State either through their utterances or actions or posts on social media are enemies of our state.
The people who have decided to leverage these sad events to further their political goals are not our friends. These people handing us petrol and matches will not stand with us when the fire turns into an inferno.
When we see the potential dangers of words and actions, we must take precautions. It is time to think about our self-preservation. It is time to put Oyo State first.
Let me make it clear, the socio-economic prosperity that has existed in Oyo State for about two years since this administration came into office, and the peace and confidence in government we have been building, is under threat. This threat will only succeed ifwe allow it to happen.
I can report to you that we were able to bring the situation in Sasa under control within a few hours. Contrary to news that has been circulating on social media, since about 2pm on Saturday, the 13th of February 2021, the situation in Sasa had been de-escalated. A curfew was put in place and there has been no further unrest since then.
I must commend the security officers who risk their lives to keep us safe. I commend the officers of the Nigeria Police, members of the ‘Operation Burst’ and members of the Amotekun Corps who have been on the ground to maintain the peace.
However, I must point out that some unscrupulous elements are doing us a disservice and are sabotaging our efforts to secure the state. For example, last week, some members of the Amotekun Corps were shot at by a Police DPO for carrying out their legal duties.
We are setting up a judicial panel to investigate this matter. The panel will be inaugurated tomorrow. I want to assure you that we are going to use every apparatus available to us as a state to ensure that justice is served. And if the officer who took this action is found wanting, he will be held accountable for his actions.
This is how justice works. People should be held accountable for their individual actions. A whole tribe, ethnic group, profession or gender must never pay for the sins of one individual. It is totally unacceptable for any individual or individuals to take law into their own hands. That is jungle justice. Oyo State is not a jungle.
We know that people are angry.
People have a right to be angry.
When the bridge between power and justice is broken, we are bound to witness unrest. But we cannot solve the problems of peaceful co-existence in anger. I appeal to every resident of Oyo State to sheath their swords. People have been wronged; I acknowledge this. Therefore, we are moving ahead with setting up the Peace and Security Committees in every zone of Oyo State. Starting today, these committees will be inaugurated. With the Peace and Security Committees, everyone’s grievances will be addressed and culprits will be brought to justice.
Let me reiterate, some people have made this about politics and a way to score political points at the expense of the lives of our people. For me, this is not about politics. This is about securing our lives. This is about preserving Oyo State for our children. This is about our future. Work with me as I work on ways to ensure lasting peace and security in our land.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
God bless Oyo State.