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Oyo convenes peaceful cohabitation meeting between Hausa riders, Yoruba traders 

Akinwale Aboluwade 
The Oyo State Government has reportedly reached a compromise with the representatives of Hausa community to relocate okada riders encroaching the Scout Camp Neighborhood Business Complex in Ibadan in a bid to ensure peaceful cohabitation among all tribes in the state.
It was noted during the flag-off ceremony of Oja Agbe recently that more than 50 commercial okada riders were encroaching the complex at night thereby raising concerns on security of lives and properties of traders in the market.
The Commissioner for Trade, Industry, Investment and Cooperatives, Mr Adeniyi Adebisi, presided over an emergency meeting with representatives of head of the Hausa community in Ibadan, to discuss the way forward on the security issue in the area.
Adebisi, while responding to questions on the encroachment of the market by the Hausa Okada riders at his office on Tuesday, stated that the development had begun to generate fear as well as discord among the traders at the Scout Camp Neighbourhood Business Complex.
According to him, the state government has no plan to drive away whoever is engaging in legitimate business within the complex. However, he said the government would not condone the illegal squatting in the business complex by the okada riders after the close of business.
He said that passing the night in the market by okada riders constituted security threat to the traders and their wares in the complex as well as the entire neighbourhood where the complex is situated.
The commissioner said, “As much as Oyo State welcomes all tribes and ethnic groups to come and do business in our state, we will also make sure that the security of individuals engaging in business is in place. To do this, we must make sure everyone plays his or her role.
“The Scout Camp Neighborhood Market is available for traders to sell and buy and not for night lodging. The Okada riders have to find a suitable place for themselves to sleep after their daily commercial activities. It is not proper for them to sleep inside the market.
“This will give those trading in the market the confidence that their lives and their properties are secure. The present administration has shown that no stone will be left unturned in order to have peaceful atmosphere for commercial growth of the state. All that we need is cooperation of all stakeholders in achieving a peaceful and serene environment.”
While reacting, one of the representatives of  Seriki Saasa, Alhaji Kazeem Yaro, expressed appreciation to the state government for giving Hausa traders opportunity to trade at the Scout Camp Neighborhood Business Complex. The group promised that the okada riders would be relocated to a more conducive area where they can take shelter.
Yaro expressed the readiness of the Hausa community to co-habitate peacefully with all tribes in the state.
One of the traders at the market, who gave his name simply as Baba Sherifu, urged the government to do the needful by guiding against actions that are capable of upsetting commercial activities and welfare of the traders in the market as well as the inhabitants of the community. He said, “We are pleased to see the efforts being made by the government to intervene in the situation before it goes out of hand.
“For us, while the state is welcoming to people coming far and wide to settle down in the state to fend for their daily living, it is duty bound on individuals to prepare to make proper arrangements on where to take shelter. Those coming into the state should also respect the interest of the host community and live in peace and harmony in line with the law of the land.”

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