The Baale of Shasha village, Chief Amusa Ajani, on Friday said those ascribing the creation of Shasha market to Hausa communities are liars who do not know the history of the market.
He said the market was created by Ford Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation through the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
The traditional leader who spoke with SaharaReporters on Friday explained that the market was established to compensate the women in Shasha.
He said, “Over 60 years ago, the Federal Government was trying to get a specific space of land with certain qualities for IITA. This is where they were able to get it in Nigeria. So, they approached us to leave the place but we said no because they had driven us away from Eleyele, which made us relocate to the University of Ibadan.
“They also asked us to leave the University of Ibadan and we moved to this place, and now they are telling us to leave this place again, we won’t. But those white men now offered to live with us. They asked us to count the number of villages on our land and we counted them; they were 33.
“They paid town planners and we were given this place with an agreement that they would not come to our place to disturb us. So we asked them how our wives were going to cope because, at that time, they used to go to the markets at Oja-Oba, Sango, and Mokola, which were far from here, so the white men said they would build a market for us.
“They brought the plans for our houses and the market. Not only the market, they built these houses for us. They built the market a year before we moved to this place. There was a woman, the first councillor in Moniya, called Mrs Bolarinwa; she contributed her salaries for one year to connect electricity supply to the market.
“After that, there was a crisis involving pepper sellers in Oja-Oba area of Ibadan. They were chased away from Oja-Oba because of crisis, and the current Seriki Shasha approached Mrs Bolarinwa to get him a market for his people. So the woman promised to take him to a market in her care which was Shasha market.
“That was when she brought Seriki to the market and he made some sacrifices. They killed two rams in the market that day. I wasn’t the Baale at that time but I was part of the committee. We were watching the elders at that time while they were making the sacrifices. To attract more people to the market, Mrs. Bolarinwa used to subsidise the prices of milk for people. She really tried to make sure the market did well. And our elders allowed Hausa people to begin bringing onions to the market from the North. Whenever we ask for them to pay royalty, Hausa people will say we want to chase them out of the market.
“They kept telling lies that they would pay us. We took the issue to the police command and the commissioner at that time vindicated us but till today, we are still on it. He said they should be giving us 10 baskets of onions and we used to pay them the following day after we must have sold them. But when it was not doing well, we reduced the number to two baskets to ensure we had some money to run the market. So, that is the story. It was Ford Foundation and Rockefeller that built 250 shops for us, through IITA.”