…” he labeled us boko haram members, use his friends in Police, SSS to intimidate, extort us
Sam Oluwalana, Ibadan
Members of a Market Traders Association, Ibadan, in Oyo State, has accused the Huasa leader of a community of incessantly harassing and extorting its members, using the instrumentality of security agencies to make clamp down to illegally clamp down on its members..
The traders’ group appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector General of Police (Abubakar Idris), and the Oyo State Governor (Abiola Ajimobi) to save them further harassment from the Serikin Sasa of Ibadanland, Alhaji Haruna Katsina Maiyasin, who they accused of using his influential friends and associates in government and the security agencies to oppress its members whenever he has any sort of disagreement with any of its members.
The traders spoke with some select journalist on Saturday in Ibadan that the community leader, who has no official status, has on many occasions employed the services of his friends in high places to organize incessant arrests and further threat of arrest of its members from men of the Force CID Annex, Alagbon, Lagos.
Those they claimed had been arrested in the past include the Financial Secretary, Alhaji Muazu Abubakar; Secretary, Alhaji Kuranga Ismail Bamidele; Chief Imam of Sasa Central Mosque, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar; and other members including Abubakar Kamai; and Alhaji Ali Na Sidi, among others.
According to the Secretary of the Association, Alhaji Kuranga Bamidele, who spoke on behalf of other members, the Serikin Sasa had been hounding them for many years because of his illegal monopoly of control of the Sasa Market since 1979, which he said was some years ago broken when the Association registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and the Oyo State Ministry of Commerce and Industry, intervened in the administrative and financial dealings of the market and Association.
“The CAC provision indicated that the market activities cannot be controlled by a non-member of the Association. We are responsible to the Local Government and we have since been paying our dues as and when due”, Bamidele said.
Dissatisfied with the development which nullified his sole control of the market management, Kuranga Bamidele alleged that, “The Serikin Sasa in 2011 said that we wanted to truncate his affairs in the market. We were framed up on flimsy allegations and some of us were then arrested and detained for 12 days in the SARS custody without prosecution. Afterwards, our men were released. In December 2012, ten of our association members were also arrested because his control of the market with his sons was curtailed. These days, many of us could not sleep in our houses and even attend to our trade in the market.
“Certain time, the Serikin Sasa named us as Boko Haram and some of us were arrested, but later released after two days when investigation revealed that we were not Boko Haram. He and his children want to continue to control us and the market, and our resistance is what is causing the aggression from him. He has reported us to the SFU, Alagbon who are now after us. We are going to submit ourselves to them, but we are using this medium to appeal to President Buhari, the IGP and the Oyo State Governor to save us from Alhaji Maiyasin because he had told us that he and President Buhari are from the same Katsina State and he will deal with us”, Bamidele said.
Alhaji Haruna Katsina Maiyasin , the Seriki Sasa, the accused community leader, however, declined to respond to the allegations, pleading a flimsy health problem.
Even though he answered the phone and was forthcoming in pleasantries to the caller, his mood changed when he learnt about the identity of the caller.
He told the caller that he was a bit indisposed and would not be able to speak on the issue. He said; “Please, I am not well. I can’t talk to you now. You can come to me later, please”, he pleaded