Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said criminal acts should be treated according to the tenets of the law, and not as ethnic conflict.
Osinbajo said this on Sunday during a condolence visit to the family of late former governor of Lagos State, Latest Jakande.
Speaking to reporters about the recent clash in Shasha market in Ibadan, Osinbajo condemned the “unfortunate mayhem,” adding that Shasha signifies unity among people of different ethnic groups, and urged community leaders to promote peaceful coexistence.
“I have heard about the unfortunate mayhem and the tragic loss of lives at the Shasha market in the past few days.
“Shasha market has been a melting pot for traders bringing foodstuff from the North to the South West for decades. For decades, traders from the North have done business with their brothers from the South West, and they have lived in peace, and even inter-married. Shasha represents unity.
“So, when a disagreement arises between individuals or a criminal act is committed by one against the other, we must ensure that we see it for what it is: a criminal act, which must be punished according to law. Not an ethnic conflict.
“Every Nigerian has a constitutional right to live, work and enjoy their lives in safety, peace under the law,” he said.
The vice president asked Nigerians never to take law into their own hands, adding that it is the citizen’s duty to assist the police to identify criminals.
He urged all community leaders to work together to preserve peace, and commended the governor for his swift action in containing the situation.
“It is the duty of government, through the police and other law enforcement agencies, to arrest and prosecute any person who commits a crime against a citizen of this nation.
“It is the role of the citizen to assist the police to identify the criminals. We must never take the law into our own hands. If we do, we will be promoting chaos, and a breakdown of law and order, and all of us, especially the most vulnerable amongst us, will be at risk.
“I urge all community leaders to work together to preserve the brotherly co-existence that our people from different parts of the country have enjoyed in Shasha market for several decades.
“I commend the governor for his swift and decisive action, and all the law enforcement agencies for their prompt intervention,” Osinbajo added.