Introduction

Markets are regarded as institutions in Yorubaland and by some other ethnic groups in Nigeria. A market provides a vital link in the chain of distribution; it involves very large daily movements of people and goods and fulfils important social and economic function which according to Vagale, a market is not only an economic institution but also serves as a social entity. Such as, creating links between people of diverse ethnic groups, racial backgrounds and cultural traits. It also serves as a meeting place for socio-cultural, religious and political activities. A market provides a physical setting for interaction between urban and rural cultures[1].

Sasa market is one of such that plays a very vital role in the economic life of the people. Sasa market is located besides the road along Moniya. It is a market where you can buy very cheap food stuffs like tomatoes, peppers, onions, rice, beans, yam, goats, ram, cow, garri and a whole lot of food items you may think of. It is also known for the sale of both in wholesale and retail prices. It is about a-10-minute drive there from University of Ibadan. Sasa market is essential in the chain of commodity distribution. It strengthens the economic base of its environs and also sustains the tax base of the Local Authority. The means of transportation coverage to Sasa market are road motor vehicles. Sasa market, as a business institution, has given a large measure of economic opportunity and social security to women, who form the bulk of the traders. Like every other in Yorubaland, Sasa market serves as an avenue that enhances inter-group relation between the Yoruba and other ethnic groups. Since its establishment in 1963, there was very little activity for about 16 years (1979). But the force that brought life into the market and to the community at large has been the choice of Sasa market by food trailers from the north. This study examines the establishment and development of the market, the migration of the Hausas into Sasa community and most importantly the complexity of Sasa market, that is, how the market has been a source of development as well as conflicts.

Conceptual Clarification

Complexity stands for intricacies and also mean complications. In this context of this study, it will look at the intricacies and the complications associated in the interactions of Yoruba and Hausa traders in Sasa market.

Background to the Study

Sasa Resettlement Community resulted from the resettlement of 33 affected villages which were formerly on the plot of land that was acquired from the government of the Western Region of Nigeria by Ford and Rockefeller Foundations around 1958 for the establishment of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). The Sasa Resettlement Area, also known as Idi Ose Resettlement Area, was carved out from the southern boundary of the IITA compound and allocated to the displaced villagers on the basis of their choice for a residential area that is close to the city of Ibadan rather than being resettled in a farming area since these villagers had nothing to trade off with Ibadan in exchange for its purchase of foodstuffs and other materials from the city. Majority of these villagers had twice been displaced. Their first place of settlement was in Eleyele.

To allow for the expansion of Ibadan at that time, the land was taken over by the government of Western Region of Nigeria and they were evicted. They then moved to the present site of the University of Ibadan and again this area was acquired by the Western Region government in 1949 when the University was to be established, hence, the people had to move to another area which is the present site of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). In the early 1960, this area was again acquired by the Federal Government and the villagers were asked to relocate. This time, they protested. Then the government of the time agreed to compensate the displaced villagers for the loss of their crops, land and houses[2]. The residents further demanded for a market which would help them through the displacement which was disruptive of their ways of life. Hence, the establishment of Sasa market for the women folk who had no adequate job substitute as result of the displacement. Sasa became a major centre which brought about the development of the area as well as source of conflict.

Statement of Problem

Sasa market which was established in 1963 for displaced villagers has over time become both an agent of development and a flashpoint due to the interaction of the indigene (Yoruba) and non-indigene (Hausa) traders, using the market. That is, access to Sasa market for the sales of foodstuffs brought from the north contributes to the development of Sasa market as well serves a source of conflicts between the two major groups. For most perishable goods in Sasa market are dominated particularly by the Hausa traders. In essence, the concentration of Hausa traders of perishable goods within Sasa market gave the group the upper hand to control the market. The administration of Sasa market the Hausa group became one of the underlying factors that built up worry in the hearts of the Yoruba traders. Some of the Yoruba traders argued that being non-indigenes the Hausa group had no right to continue to be in charge of the market administration.

This is a case of Hausa traders who in 1979 settled in Sasa community are involved in conflict with the Yoruba traders over the administration of the market. Not much work has been done on the complexity of Sasa market, however, few of the works done by Afolayan[3] only analysed from historical perspectives the resettlement of the Yorubas in Sasa Community prior to the arrival of the Hausas. No existing works has efficiently examined the complexity of Sasa market. It is in this regard that this study built on the existing works and examined what the complexity are and how these complications emanate in the first place

Aim and Objectives

The major aim of this study is to analyse the complexity of Sasa market. Consequently, the objectives of this study are to:

  1. examine the origin and development of Sasa community
  2. analyse the migrational history of the Yoruba group.
  3. examine the development and expansion of Sasa market.
  4. examine how the Hausa group migrated to Sasa community.

Significance of Study

The events (conflict) of the early 2021 aroused the need to study the complexity of Sasa market in Ibadan between 1963 and 1915. The purpose of this study is to comprehensively analyse the complexity of Sasa market. In addition, this study is a contribution to knowledge in the areas of market,  how a market can affect the society and its economy positively and negatively. Because of the dearth of works on this subject, this study will provide students of history, other academic disciplines and the general public with adequate knowledge or information on Sasa market. It will be of valuable importance to historians, enabling them to be better informed and also serves as a quick reference guide for researchers interested in the study of Sasa market since a market is business and trade institution in the global context.

Scope of the Study

This study is restricted to Sasa market in Ibadan between 1963 and 2015. The year 1963 marks the period when the 33 villages were resettled on plots of land that was later acquired by the government for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) prior to the arrival of the Hausa people. The year 2015 which is the terminal year of this study, is also significant. It marks the year when an administrator of the market was selected from the Yoruba group after 41 years which the Hausa had been in charge, of which became one the root causes of the recent conflict in the market[4].

Sources and methodology 

This study will rely essentially on the primary sources (oral interviews) for its analysis. The primary data were obtained from a group of people mostly Yoruba who are knowledgeable about Sasa community and market and personal observations. This study will also made use of secondary sources relating to markets and Sasa market and community. Secondary sources used for this study included published books, journals, manuscripts and e-books. Available materials from the internet were also accessed.

Literature Review

There is rarely any all-inclusive work uniquely written on as “The Complexity of Traditional Market: A Case Study of Sasa Market, 1963-2015”. However, there are existing scholarships which touch on different aspects of the study, though they are not presented as articulate on the subject. As a consequence, primary materials remain the most important sources for this study. In order to indicate how this present work will fill the missing gap in the existing literature, it is essential to start with a brief review of the works already done on markets.

One of the important studies relevant to this present study is A.A. Afolayan’s The Sasa Resettlement Project[5] and Marketing, to the Rescue of Sasa[6] both studies analyse the Sasa resettlement Community from a historical perspective. Another study is Salamone’s The Waziri and the Thief: Hausa Islamic Law in a Yoruba City, a Case Study from Ibadan, Nigeria, he briefly examines Sasa and asserts that Sasa is  noted for trade in food spices, tomatoes, onions, sweet and hot peppers, chickens and other agricultural products.  The main argument of these studies is about the establishment of non-indigenes community in Yorubaland and the strategic location of Sasa that was found in 1979[7]. However, the study could not examine the complexity of Sasa market.

Another work that is relevant to this study is Adeyinka, Kuye and Agbabiaka’s Assessment Of Market Facilities and Locational Effects On Adjoining Neighborhoods in Nigerian Urban Centers: Empirical Evidence From Akure, Nigeria[8], the study examines market facilities level and locational effects on adjoining neighbourhoods in Akure Township. Another notable work on market is Hodder and Ukwu’s Markets in West Africa: Studies of markets and Trade among the Yoruba and Ibo[9], it analyses market institutions from Yoruba and Igbo’s perspectives and demonstrated their practical and theoretical significance for the understanding of the social and economic life of the people. They both discussed the effect of a market to the development of towns and communities.

Theories on the origins of market

Markets, in the sense of public gatherings of buyers and sellers meeting at appointed places at regular intervals, have been found to be important elements of the social and economic landscape and their study essential to any real understanding of the life and work of many African communities. The study of markets, however, and in particular the description, understanding and explanation of their distributions and functions, raises a host of problems[10]. Let us take a look at the theories on the origins of market in the next paragraph.

According to Hodder, there are two main theories about the origins of market institutions. The first, entirely conventional theory starts from the individual’s tendency to exchange, possibly involving silent exchange; inference from this is the necessity for local exchange, the division of labour and local markets; and deduces, finally, is the necessity for long-distance or at least external exchange or trade[11]. Simply put, the initial point is seen to be in community exchange and local markets, only few frequently due to unexpected locational advantages, become important market centres associated with long-distance trading such as the case of Sasa market. To cite one source on this, “barter exists among the most isolated and inaccessible societies; and the wordless (silent) exchange of goods made without witnesses in the furthermost recesses of the jungle, in Asia, America and Africa is evidence of an economic need. As confidence grows between individuals exchanging their respective goods, local markets spring up; and in the more advanced cultures wide use may be made of money in the more important markets or local fairs”[12].

Another theory on the origins of market overturns completely this progression of events, claiming that trade with its associated market phenomena can never arise within a community; for trade, it is contended, is an external affair involving different communities[13]. Markets can never arise out of the demands of purely individual or local exchange. As one writer puts it, [in a substantive economy] “local needs of exchange for foodstuffs or craft products do not seem sufficient to promote marketing activities…. Markets are primarily induced by external exchanges of complementary products with an alien population”[14]. Sasa market has the blend of the two theories. However, followed the first pattern than the second, it was the necessity for local exchange, the division of labour, community exchange and local markets that birthed Sasa market.

The Case of Yorubaland

The origins of market institutions have been examine carefully for the Yoruba country in West Africa where traditional markets are very numerous in reality and it must be admitted that the proof in support of the second theory above are  enormous. There is also little evidence in support of the first theory. The earliest literary evidence of the first half of nineteenth century shows clearly that markets were obvious characteristics of Yorubaland long before the colonial phase. In so far as it is possible to reconstruct the distribution of markets in Yoruba rural area through which these earliest observers passed, it is clear that markets were often located at junction zones, there being, for example, a line of old market towns along the contact zone between forest and savannah, where the products of each could be most easily exchanged.       Similarly, along the coastal lagoons and creeks were important contact points between agriculturists and fishermen. Other markets were found at the junction of different peoples: Ketu market for instance, was regarded as an important link between the Yoruba and the Dahomey peoples; Iperu market was a contact point between the Egba and Ijebu groups of Yoruba; and Mamu market was traditionally a border line market between the Ijebu and Ibadan Yoruba. Even more important, markets of the early nineteenth century were frequently on or very in close proximity to the main trade routes of the day. Along these trade routes passed long-distance caravans, most of them connecting the coastal lagoon ports and markets of Porto Novo, Badagri, Ikorodu, Epe and Atijere with the Niger crossings farther north and forming but part of the great and ancient caravan trade linking Barbary, the Sahara and the forest lands along the Guinea coast.

An important origin of many Yoruba markets, in reality, was that of a resting place; the Sapon market at Abeokuta, for example, took its name, which is a contraction of Yoruba phrase  meaning “do favours to bachelors”, from its origin as a place where hospitality – prepared food, soap, local beverages and shelter – could be offered to passing groups of traders[15]. If such a resting place became popular, a market into which farmers brought their commodities for sale sprang up; weekly markets were held; market sheds were built and the whole place became a sort of caravanserai for travellers[16]. While some of the caravans were quite small, some 4000-5000 people; and there is in the literature of the 1820-50 period of a number of descriptions of how these market centres on caravan routes greatly stimulated in their neighbourhood. R. Lander describes one such market, for instance, as a great thoroughfare for companies of merchants trading from Hausa, Borgoo and other countries to Gonja and as a result a vast quantity of land is cultivated in its vicinity with corn and yams to supply them with provisions[17].

A second relevant characteristic of these early markets as described by first European observers refers to their commodity structure, which in every case included food and craft products, but also various European and other non-Yoruba goods of a surprising variety. In Porto Novo at the end of the eighteenth century, J. Adams found European-introduced goods – “cloth, tobacco, iron, corals, cowries and beads alongside African cloth from Oyo and Ijebu”[18]. H. Clapperton noted of Yorubaland that a considerable quantity of cloth was made and exchanged with the people of the coast for rum, tobacco, European cloth and other articles; and at the market of Katunga (Old Oyo) the early travellers found an immense range of goods: local foodstuffs, the products of local craft industries imported from neighbouring territories and from abroad, including Europe. Along the way side Lander and Clapperton met many groups of slaves taking all kinds of goods – country cloth and indigo, for instance – to exchange for goods of European origin at the coast.

It is thus argued that traditional markets are not foundation of settlement rather focal point of communications.  It is at least understandable, even logical, in terms of the theory of market origins which sees markets as being introduced from outside contacts rather than arising naturally within an existing socio-economic framework. Available facts about markets in Yorubaland, then – their location on long-distance trade routes, their commodity structure, and their location in relation to the pattern and hierarchy of settlements – suggests that traditional markets in Yorubaland are related genetically to external trading contacts[19].

The socioeconomic and symbolic importance of the market in the Yoruba world has been copiously acknowledged by scholars of Yoruba culture. Niara Sudarkasa has, for example, described the Yoruba market as a female-dominated public space. While Yoruba women are peripheral to farming, an essentially rural and relatively private economic activity, they are the principal actors in the essentially urban, public-oriented economic activities of the market in Yorubaland. The location of the market in the centre of Yoruba towns and near the palace-the bastion of political power in Yoruba towns constitutes an indirect importance of the centrality of the market-trading and exchange-to the social dynamics of life[20].

Furthermore, in pre-colonial Yoruba, market was the centre of business and commercial activities, social engagements, political and even religious events[21]. Markets were also the meeting places of youths and suitors. They provided avenues for the exchange of ideas and offered spaces for important festivals, information-sharing, including rumours, and fashion display[22]. According to Alhaja Toke Daina, Lagos markets, during the pre-colonial period, reflected the image of the community and showcased the wealth and significance of Lagos[23]. Every community had markets that ran on daily or periodic basis in cycles of three, four, five, nine or fifteen days’ intervals. Some markets operated for a full day, half day, or nightly (oja ale). The markets were arranged into different sections in accordance with the type of goods sold therein. Trees of different types and sizes provided shade while stumps of trees and stones that were arranged in a parallel pattern served as chairs and tables for the display of goods. Daily transactions at pre-colonial markets began as early as 7: 00 am and ended around 6:00 pm for full day trading. Market administrators (or market chiefs) such as Iyaloja, Otun Iyaloja, Babaloja and Parakoyi (trade chiefs) were appointed by kings to collect levies, settle disputes and perform rituals on behalf of the community. Market chiefs were equally assisted by local police drawn from the age-groups[24].

Traditionally, women dominated the markets in most communities in Yorubaland where selling and buying had been mostly a female hobby or occupation. Over eighty percent (80%) of Yoruba traders were women and these women exhibited aggression and manifested hostilities towards men who patronised and sold in local markets[25]. The market was administered and governed by a council, headed by Iyaloja (female market chieftain). Oral information[26] confirms that some traditional markets in Yorubaland were under the authority of Iyaloja, a good example is Lagos Island, however, they were monitored by a high chief (Idejo chief) in which the market was situated. The high chief supervised selection of the female market chieftain (Iyaloja) whose duty was to maintain peace, ensure law and order as well as the security of traders. The Iyaloja also imposed certain levies and market dues on traders. Most of the major commercial centres and markets were located along lagoons and creeks where traders from the hinterland converged and procured commodities such as salt, fish and pepper in exchange for foodstuffs like garri, cassava, yam flour (elubo), yam, palm oil, groundnut oil, pots, woodworks, metal works, calabash, cloths and mats. Some prominent and important markets in Ibadan are Oje, Oja Oba, Agbeni, Ogunpa, Gbagi, Sasa et cetera. Lai Olurode confirms the dominance of women thus:

Markets are generally under women control. They formulate, administer rules, regulate and settle all questions on market matters. … in the past each market was presided over by the ruler’s wife known as Iyalode among the Yoruba… the women do not dominate the markets for nothing, they exhibit a lot of zeal in the conduct of trade, constituting themselves into arteries and veins of the distributive system all over the country[27].

Having said that, this study focuses its attention on the origin of one of the markets in Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria and that is Sasa market. Sasa market provides a vital link in the chain of distribution. Moreover, it involves very large daily movements of people and goods and fulfils an important social function for the people. Of course markets differ widely in form and function according to the natural, social and economic environments in which they occur.

Ibadan

Before examining the origin of Sasa market, let us look briefly at a history of Ibadan. After the collapse of the Old Oyo Empire and the outbreak of the Owu war in 1821, many Yoruba refugees fled their former communities affected by these incidents to found Ibadan in 1829. Ibadan created in 1829 as a war camp for warriors coming from Oyo, Ife and Ijebu. Ibadan was a forest site and several ranges of hills, varying in elevation from 160 to 275 metres, offered strategic defence opportunities. Moreover, its location at the edging of the forest promoted its emergence as a marketing centre for traders and goods from both the forest and grassland areas. Ibadan thus began as a military state and remained so until the last decade of the 19th century[28]. In other words, shortly thereafter, Ibadan began to serve as state capital as from the twentieth century. Ibadan had since the nineteenth century developed into an urban centre attracting increasing business investments from productive entrepreneurs within and without each community[29].

The Yoruba people in Ibadan, for example, were able to extend the boundaries of Ibadan towards the western and north-western territories in the nineteenth century. Ibadan war chiefs also established a major regional market (Oja’ba or Oja Oba) and encouraged strangers to come and settle in Ibadan. The strangers included Hausa from current Northern Nigeria through whom war chiefs in Ibadan established trade links with the major commercial centres in the Sokoto caliphate. Successful efforts were also made by Ibadan war chiefs to obtain regular supplies of firearms through the Lagos-Ibadan[30]trade route negotiated with Captain Glover, the British Governor of Lagos. The complementary efforts in Ibadan so much facilitated the exchange sector that many people from Ibadan could go to other Yoruba and non-Yoruba communities to trade. Many individuals outside Ibadan were also able to come to Ibadan to pursue various commercial interests[31]. However, the economy of Ibadan first and foremost rested on agriculture (yam, maize, vegetables…), manufacture (mainly weapons, smithery, cloth and ceramics industries) and trade (slaves, palm oil, yam, kola for export, shea butter, salt, horses, weapons from outside). The colonial period reinforced the position of the city in the Yoruba urban network.

Migrational History of the people of Sasa

Sasa happens to be a resettlement community within Ibadan; Sasa community resulted from the resettlement of affected 33 villages which were formerly on a land that was acquired by the Western Regional Government for International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Sasa was excised from the southern boundary of the IITA compound and allocated to the displaced villagers on the basis of their choice for residential area that is close to the city rather than being resettled in a farming area.

The people of Sasa initially settled at Eleyele to the south-west of Ibadan suburbs and they were thirty-three (33) villages. They were farmers producing at a subsistence level. The people’s lifestyles and standard of living remained very close to what was required to survive. Subsistence goods – what was required to stay alive while trade goods were goods produced for other peoples’ consumption, was also the key to growing contacts between societies. Trade goods were what were required for interactions. Such goods could be sold over long distances which made the relationship between the Yoruba and Hausa traders possible, hence, the need for a market to centralise their interactions.

Resettled Sasa Community as the place was named is an acquired land from the government of the Western Region of Nigeria by Ford and Rockefeller Foundations around 1958. Majority of the original people of Sasa community had twice been displaced. Their first place of settlement was at Eleyele, made up of 33 villages. To allow for the expansion of Ibadan at that time, the land was taken over by the government and they were evicted. They then moved and resettled at the present site of the University of Ibadan, this area was acquired again in 1949 when the University College which later became the University of Ibadan was to be established, and the people had to move north to another area which is the present site of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Early of 1960, this area was again acquired by the Federal Government and the people were asked to relocate which they protested. Hence, the present displacement and offer of a place close to Ibadan in 1967 was viewed by some of these people to be also non-permanent or at best accepted with suspicion. However, the government of the time agreed to compensate the displaced people for the loss of their crops, land and houses[32].

Ford Foundation first visited Nigeria in July 1958 at the request of the Western Regional Government to study its problems of public administration training. And in the early 1960s, Nigeria became part of Rockefeller Foundation’s University Development Programme. Thus, when both Ford and Rockefeller Foundations were looking for a suitable place with specific space of land with certain qualities for where the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) would be established or located. They were able to get it right on the settlement of this same people. Thus, the Western Government led by Chief Ladoke Akintola who was the then Western Region Premier, asked the people to be relocated to another place[33].

Naming the Community: Sasa

The Foundations then offered to live together with the displaced people. Majority of them agreed while few of them rejected the offer. The Foundations asked the displaced people to count the number of villages on that land and which they counted them and they were 33 villages.  Town planners were invited and paid and more so, a two-week course in citizenship and leadership and community development was attended at Sasa Social Development Training Centre, Iperu in present day Ogun State by 90 leaders chosen by the villagers. The delegates responded passionately to this programme, hence, they named their community after the training centre.

The Origin of Sasa Market

At that material time, there was no nearby market; the women were used to going to the markets at Oja-Oba or Oja’ba, Sango, and Mokola, which were far from their present location. The men asked the Foundations to do something about having their own market since a market is an institution or an avenue for the exchange of goods and services. Thus, in order to alleviate the suffering of the women and to create a centre of business and commercial activities and information-sharing, the Foundations agreed to build a market for them.  At the end of the day Ford and Rockefeller Foundations excised part of the land where IITA is located today which they had acquired from the Western government of Nigeria. They brought the plans for their houses and the market. They built the market in 1963 and a year later they moved the people to the location where they are today. That is, they built the market; built  houses and offices for the people and began to coexist with the people[34], they also built schools[35].

Traditionally, very community had markets that ran on daily or periodic basis in cycles of three, four, five, nine- or fifteen-days’ intervals of which Sasa is not an exemption. It is important to note that Sasa market was initially operating on a periodic cycle of five days’ intervals. It was never an everyday or daily market. The market was administered by the Yoruba group of the community of Sasa. Market administrators (market chiefs) such as Alaga and Igbakeji Alaga Oja (Chairman and his deputy) were appointed by the Baale to collect levies and settle disputes. Therefore, in essence, the political structure of the market administration was a chairman who saw to the day-to-day activities of the market and his deputy who were both answerable to the Baale. The people of Sasa have been living in that place for 16 years and carrying out trading activities in Sasa market before the arrival of the Hausa traders in 1979 who only came to trade in Sasa market[36].

The Arrival of the Hausa

In 1979, there was a crisis involving pepper sellers in Oja-Oba or Oja’ba (King’s market) area of Ibadan. Hausa traders were chased away from Oja-Oba because of the crisis, and the current Sarki Sasa (King of Sasa), Alhaji  Haruna Maiyasin approached a certain Mrs Bolarinwa to get him a market for his people. Mrs Bolarinwa, happens to be the Sole Administrator of Akinyele Local Government, Headquartered in Moniya at that time[37]. Akinyele Local Government Council had control over the northwestern section of Ibadan area (including Sasa). Haruna entreated her find a market for the expelled Hausa traders, where they could be carrying out their business of buying and selling, she replied him that there was a market within her jurisdiction in which they could trade. Hence, he was introduced to the market people and Sasa community earnestly wanted the market to be flooded with goods, services and people[38], as mentioned earlier that not much trading activity was taking place, and seeing that the community had virtually nothing to trade off with Ibadan in exchange from the city[39]hence, they welcome Haruna and accepted his proposal[40]. As a result Sasa became a crowded market because it brought large numbers of people from different ethnic groups together; the two major ethnic groups are Hausa and Yoruba.

Prior to this period, several attempts were made by the trailer drivers to offload their commodities at Ojoo market, but the police were totally opposed to this. The drivers ran the risk of being arrested; hence, they turned their attention to the locational advantageous Sasa market, which is close to the main highway linking the city with the north. Moreover, the spacious, unbuilt-up area of the market, together with the area designated motor park, provided parking spaces for the trailers. These advantages of the Sasa market over the Ojoo market, and markets in the heart of the city (Oja Oba, Mapo and Ayeye), where the trailers formerly off-loaded, made it preferable for the trailers. Thus, Sasa market was officially declared a depot for the northern foodstuffs on 5 March 1979, and at the same time the Hausa trailers were banned from off-loading in markets at the city proper. All these worked to the credit and development of Sasa market[41].

The oral interview conducted in 1982 by Afolayan in the Hausa community of Sasa shows their place of origin, reason and time of moving into Sasa community. According to him, the presence of these northerners in Sasa is a recent feature that is associated with development of Sasa as a major market centre for foodstuffs brought from the north for the Ibadan market. The Hausa traders in Sasa reside mostly in the stalls built around the open market in the centre of the Community. A few of them, however, reside in houses they bought from some of the settlers, who initially wanted quick gain or were dissolutioned as to bright prospects for the centre and so sold off their houses to these northerners. All of the Hausa traders interviewed have their families living with them. But usually many of the traders come alone, either leaving their families behind at their places of origin or come as unmarried singles. And many of these traders stay in the Community for a short time before they return to the north to bring down new goods. In general, the initial settlers, who are Ibadan people (Yoruba), still form the majority of the population, but the influx of other groups of people, particularly from the north, points to an immigration process in the Community. In essence, economic reason is the main force responsible for the inflow of people into Sasa Community[42].

According to Amusa Akinade[43], Mrs Bolarinwa was the first Councillor in Moniya; she contributed her salaries for one year to connect electricity supply to the market. And then Haruna began to bring his people who then traded in beans, onions, corn, and many other farm produces. As at this time, perishable goods like pepper, tomatoes and other vegetables produce were not part of the goods they were bringing. Mrs Bolarinwa began to subsidise the prices of milk for the people. She made sure that the market did well. And then the leaders of Sasa community allowed Hausa traders to bring onions to the market from the North. However, whenever the elders asked for them to pay royalty, Hausa people would say that the people wanted to chase them out of the market. Over a period of time, Sasa market graduated from being a-5-day periodic market to a daily market operating on a full day basis. The market is held between 8am and 6pm. This made the market popular as it is opened for longest number of hours. Sasa market trades in variety of goods and makes buyers patronise it at any time of the day[44].

Fijabi, at that material time was the Baale of Sasa and in a bid to make the market a place for actualising economic desires. Fijabi refused to impose levy on traders fearing that by so doing the Hausa traders will not be bringing goods to Sasa market and the population might drop[45]. Whenever the market administrators asked them to pay royalty, Hausa traders would accuse the administrators of wanting to chase them out of the market. The issue was taken to the police command and the Commissioner of Police to wade into the issue. It was agreed that they should be giving 10 baskets of onions. But at a point it was reduced to two baskets. Later they stopped paying[46].

In a bid to further please the Hausa traders, in 1979, when it was time to choose or appoint a chairman who will be in control of the market, the Baale appointed one Musa, from the Hausa group and took him to the Council at Moniya where he was sworn in, for a three-year tenure. At the expiration of his tenure, the Baale again, selected and appointed another Hausa man, in the person of Al-Hassan for another three years. That was how Chairmen/ administrators of Sasa market had been from Hausa extraction. This made their host began to agitate for the control of the market themselves.

Around 2005, when it was time to nominate a candidate for the chairman’s position, Alhaji Haruna Maiyasin the Sarki Hausawa in Sasa then asked the Baale to nominate a Yoruba man this time around, while he the Sarki would nominate a deputy[47]. The Sarki’s suggestion did not go well with the Hausa group since some handful of them had been aspiring and preparing for the chairman’s position of the market. They felt betrayed by the Sarki and they began to plan on how to remove him as their Sarki and then drive him away from Sasa community.  One of the strategies of removing the Sarki was to urge the Baale to select another Hausa person and then tell the Sarki that he was no longer wanted in Sasa community. That is, the Sarki should be declared a non-persona grata. The Baale vehemently refused to grant their request to drive the Sarki. The Hausa group did not want a Yoruba to be Chairman of the market; they want to continue to be chairmen and administrators of the market. The Baale called for volunteers from the Sasa people, but none of them showed interest, they all said that the mantle of leadership of Sasa market was beyond their capacity.

Baale went ahead and nominated Waidi alas “Pistol” who happens to be an Ibadan man while the Sarki nominated one Ibrahim a Hausa man as his deputy. The Hausa traders  remained bent on opposing Waidi. Since the time Waidi and Ibrahim had been chosen as the Chairman and deputy chairman respectively, it has created an atmosphere of tensions because they have refused to recognise Waidi as the chairman of the market. This has been the underlying issue that had been fuelling every other conflict in the market and the Sasa environs.  It created tensions and became source of conflicts and agitations[48]. Since the 1979 that the Hausa traders came into the market; they had been the group being appointed as chairmen of the market.

The Hausa group is of the opinion that the Yoruba group do not have a say in the affairs of the market, on the ground that they are the ones bringing the goods from the northern part of Nigeria and that they should be taking revenue that is being generated from the market. While the Yoruba group is of the opinion that the market was established to compensate their women, that it was their land that was appropriated and that they are entitle to whatever that is generated from the market.  In order to let peace reign, leaders of Sasa suggested that they should both be administering the market together and share the proceeds but the Hausa group refused. Hence, the rivalry between Hausa and Yoruba traders at Sasa market in Akinyele Local Government Area became a recurrent problem[49].

According Laurent Fourchard, the area was inhabited in the late 1970s by Hausa traders, who came from the main market in the inner city (Oja Oba) where they were no longer allowed to off-load their foodstuffs. Oral interview (dialogue) between Fourchard and the chairman of Sasa Market states: “The villagers were nice to us on our arrival. People slept in the market with their goods and then started gradually to rent rooms, houses and some even bought land and built their own houses”. As a result, in 1983 a committee of experts established by the Oyo State Governor with the help of the Oyo State Ministry of Lands and Housing investigated the question of land in Sasa. It is probably at this time that the sale of land to the Hausa community was officially stopped.

Since then and according to Hausa community leaders, the Hausa have not been allowed to own houses in Sasa. This arrangement brought considerable changes to the settlement of the Hausa community in the ward. The insecurity of land tenure and the impossibility of acquiring land in Sasa led the tenants to not maintain the houses in which they live. On the other hand, indigenous landlords appear not to be particularly preoccupied with the quality of housing. Consequently, houses quickly deteriorated. This is the first reason proposed by the Malam of the palace of Sarkin Sasa: “Soon after our settlement was founded, a misunderstanding arose between the Yoruba and the Hausa. The Hausa can only rent houses but not construct houses[50].

Conclusion

From the foregoing, the migrational history of both groups shaped the development of Sasa Community and market. It is obvious that Sasa market brought positive development, healthy intergroup relationship and conflicts. Having said, these secondary sources complemented the oral interviews and provided us insights into their migrational history of both groups. It also gave rise to reveal how Hausa group became the administrators of the market. Access to market for produce served as a platform for the Hausa traders to gain access to Sasa market administration.

It is important to note that for most commodities in Yorubaland and Nigeria by extension, there is always domination of parts of the marketing chain by a particular ethnic group. Hence, at Sasa market, Hausa groups (settlers) dominate commodities like tomatoes, peppers, onions, beans, goats, ram, cow, and a whole lot of food items you may think of. They did not only continue to control the trade, the ethnic monopoly they enjoyed enabled them to dictate prices of these commodities. The concentration of the Hausa group trading in these commodities in a way manifested a tendency of an unchallenged control of the market administration. The Yoruba group in 2015 attempted to regain the market administration when it sensed that a lot of money was being made in the market administration and there was income disparity between the two ethnic groups (traders’ leaders). Hausa group come together and resisted any possible takeover. Hence, this resulted in further exacerbated tensions.

The study identified domination of these commodities which gained the Hausa group access to market administration as a potential conflict pressure point. This ethnic monopoly of administration and trade is identified as a contributing factor to the ethnic conflict between the Hausa and Yoruba at Sasa market. It does show from these interviews that ethno-domination of marketing chain suggests is not the primary cause of tension and conflict, rather, it was a means to gain access to market power. It was found that conflict and tensions were fuelled by ethnic control of market administration at Sasa market.

In essence, struggles over market power and market access occurred along commodity chains and are particularly contributing to the sparking or escalating conflict where underlying tensions related to deep-seated structural factors are also present. Control of the market became a wider cause of conflict and flashpoints. Although the potential for trade to become a point of conflict, market interactions and trading relationships also aided healthy intergroup relations, the development of Sasa market, community and its environs.

References

Oral Interview

  • Interview with Alhaja Toke Daina, 70+years, Deputy Iyaloja, Mombata Market, Jankara, January, 9 2011. As cited in Olaoba, O.B. and Ojo, O.E. 2014. Influence of British Economic Activities On Lagos Traditional Markets, 1900-1960. Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, 23:111-130. Retrieved July 14, 2021 from https://www.jstor.org/stable/24768944
  • Interview with Amusa Akinade Ajani, 80+ years, Baale of Sasa Community, Ibadan, March 13, 2021
  • Interview with Chief Nasiru Aderemi Ogungbade, 60+years, Ekafa Baale of Sasa community, Ibadan, March 14, 2021.
  • Interview with Chief Popoola Rasheed, 60+ Babaloja Sasa Market, Ibadan. May 4, 2021
  • Books
  • Hodder, B.W. and Ukwu, U.I. 1969. Hodder and Ukwu’s Markets in West Africa: Studies of markets and Trade Among the Yoruba and Ib. Ibadan: The Caxton Press (West Africa).

 

[1] Vagale, L.R. 1973. Anatomy of Traditional Markets in Nigeria: Focus on Ibadan City. The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Town Planning Development. As cited in Balogun F. A. 2018. Management Of Traditonal Markets In Ibadan, Nigeria: A Focus On Oja’ba And Oje Markets. Retrieved September 10, 2021 from https://www.regionalstudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/BALOGUN_Femi_Adekunle.pdf

 

[2] Interview with Amusa Akinade Ajani, 80+ years, Baale of Sasa Community, Ibadan, March 13, 2021.

 

[3] Afolayan, A.A. 1987. The Sasa Resettlement Project: A Study in Problems of Relocation. Habitat Intl.  11. 2: 43-57. Retrieved March 22, 2021 from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0197397587900555

 

[4] [4]Interview with Chief Popoola Rasheed, 60+ Babaloja Sasa Market, Ibadan. May 4, 2021

[5] Afolayan, A.A. 1987. The Sasa Resettlement Project: A Study in Problems of Relocation. Habitat Intl.  11. 2: 43-57. Retrieved March 22, 2021 from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0197397587900555

 

[6] Afolayan, A.A. 1987. Marketing, To the Rescue of Sasa. Habitat Intl.  11. 2: 59-70. Retrieved March 22, 2021 from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0197397587900567

[7] Salamone, F.A. 1996. The Waziri and the Thief: Hausa Islamic Law in a Yoruba City, a Case Study from Ibadan, Nigeria. African Studies Review, 39. 2: 125-140, Retrieved February 22, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/525438

[8] Adeyinka S. A., Kuye O. A. and Agbabiaka H. I. 2016. Assessment of Market Facilities and Locational Effects On Adjoining Neighborhoods In Nigerian Urban Centers: Empirical Evidence From Akure, Nigeria. International Journal Of Scientific & Technology Research, 5. 4: 199-206. Retrieved February 22, 2021 from https://www.ijstr.org/final-print/apr2016/Assessment-Of-Market-Facilities-And-Locational-Effects-On-Adjoining-Neighborhoods-In-Nigerian-Urban-Centers-Empirical-Evidence-From-Akure-Nigeria.pdf

[9] Hodder, B.W. and Ukwu, U.I. 1969. Hodder and Ukwu’s Markets in West Africa: Studies of markets and Trade Among the Yoruba and Ib. Ibadan: The Caxton Press (West Africa).

[10]Hodder, B.W. 1965. Some Comments on the Origins of Traditional Markets in Africa South of the Sahara. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 36: 97-105. Retrieved July 9, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/621456

[11] Bohannan, P. 1961. The Tiv Market Place. unpublished manuscripts as cited in B. W. Hodder. 1965. Some Comments on the Origins of Traditional Markets in Africa South of the Sahara. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, No.36, pp. 97-105. Retrieved on July 9, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/621456

 

[12] International Labour Organization. 1953. ‘Indian markets and fairs in Latin America’, in Indigenous. 65. As cited in B. W. Hodder. 1965. Some Comments on the Origins of Traditional Markets in Africa South of the Sahara. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, No.36, pp. 97-105. Retrieved July 9, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/621456

 

[13] Polanyi, K .1946. Origins of our Time. K. Polanyi, C. W. Arensberg and H. W. Pearson (eds.), Trade and Market in the Early Empires. I957; M. Weber, General Economic History 1930, 195; N. Pirenne, Medieval Cities 1925, I42. As cited in B. W. Hodder. 1965. Some Comments on the Origins of Traditional Markets in Africa South of the Sahara. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, No.36, pp. 97-105. Retrieved July 9, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/621456

 

[14] C. Meillassoux, ‘Social And Economic Factors Affecting Markets In Guro Land’, Chapter 1 In P. Bohannan And G. Dalton (Eds.), Markets In Africa (1962), 297. As cited in B. W. Hodder. (1965). Some Comments on the Origins of Traditional Markets in Africa South of the Sahara. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 36: 97-105. Retrieved July 9, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/621456

[15] A. Ajisafe, History of Abeokuta. 1924. 69. AJISAFE, History of Abeokuta .1924, 69. As cited in B. W. Hodder. (1965). Some Comments on the Origins of Traditional Markets in Africa South of the Sahara. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 36: 97-105. Retrieved July 9, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/621456

 

 

[16] S. Johnson, History of the Yorubas. 1921, 90. As cited in B. W. Hodder. (1965). Some Comments on the Origins of Traditional Markets in Africa South of the Sahara. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers,36: 97-105. Retrieved July 9, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/621456

[17] R. Lander and J. Lander, 153. As cited in B. W. Hodder. 1965. Some Comments on the Origins of Traditional Markets in Africa South of the Sahara. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 36:97-105. Retrieved July 9, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/621456

[18]Adams, J. Remarks on the Country extending from Cape Palmas to the River Congo. 1823,  87. As cited in B. W. Hodder. 1965. Some Comments on the Origins of Traditional Markets in Africa South of the Sahara. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 36: 97-105. Retrieved July 9, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/621456

 

[19]Hodder, B.W. 1965. Some Comments on the Origins of Traditional Markets in Africa South of the Sahara. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 3:97-105. Retrieved July 9, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/621456

 

[20] Ropo Sekoni. 1994. Yoruba Market Dynamics and the Aesthetics of Negotiation in Female Precolonial Narrative Tradition. Research in African Literatures, 25. 3: 33-45. Retrieved July 9, 2021 from https://www.jstor.org/stable/3819844

[21] Fadipe, N.A. 1970. The History of the Yoruba. Ibadan: University of Ibadan Press 161. As cited in Olaoba, O.B. and Ojo, O.E. 2014. Influence of British Economic Activities On Lagos Traditional Markets, 1900-1960. Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, 23:111-130. Retrieved July 14, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/24768944

[22] Oyesiku, O.O. 1992. Traditional Markets, in S. O. Onakomaiya (et al), Ogun State in Maps. Ibadan: Rex Charlex Publication, 102. As cited in Olaoba, O.B. and Ojo, O.E. 2014. Influence of British Economic Activities On Lagos Traditional Markets, 1900-1960. Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, 23:111-130. Retrieved July 14, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/24768944

[23] Interview with Alhaja Toke Daina, 70+years, Deputy Iyaloja, Mombata Market, Jankara, January, 9 2011. As cited in Olaoba, O.B. and Ojo, O.E. 2014. Influence of British Economic Activities On Lagos Traditional Markets, 1900-1960. Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, 23:111-130. Retrieved July 14, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/24768944

 

[24] Age groups are youths of the same age bracket, say between 18 and 30 years, who perform a variety of services for the community including acting as security guards in the markets. As cited in Olaoba, O.B. and Ojo, O.E. 2014. Influence of British Economic Activities On Lagos Traditional Markets, 1900-1960. Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, 23:111-130. Retrieved February 22, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/24768944

[25] Onyeonoru, I.P. et. al. 2003.  Markets, Gender and Market Women: Coping Strategies of Traders in a Nigerian Market Place, African Notes, 27, 1 and 2: 65. As cited in Olaoba, O.B. and Ojo, O.E. 2014. Influence of British Economic Activities On Lagos Traditional Markets, 1900-1960. Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, 23:111-130. Retrieved February 22, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/24768944

[26] Interview with Madam Amadu Iyabode, 70+ years, Market leader, Jankara Market, 4 February 2012. As cited in Olaoba, O.B. and Ojo, O.E. 2014. Influence of British Economic Activities On Lagos Traditional Markets, 1900-1960. Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, 23:111-130. Retrieved February 22, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/24768944

 

[27] Olurode, L. 1999. Economic Culture, in L. Olurode (ed.), Nigeria: People and Culture. Lagos: Rebork Publications Ltd. 46. As cited in Olaoba, O.B. and Ojo, O.E. 2014. Influence of British Economic Activities On Lagos Traditional Markets, 1900-1960. Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, 23:111-130. Retrieved February 22, 2021 from  https://www.jstor.org/stable/24768944

 

[28] Fourchard, L. 2003. Understanding slum: case studies for the global report 2003, the case of Ibadan, Nigeria, 2. Retrieved July 16, 2021 from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dpu-projects/Global_Report/pdfs/Ibadan.pdf

[29] Oyerinde, O.K. 2006. The Constitution of Order Among The Yoruba Of Nigeria. Thesis. Public and Environmental Affairs, Political Science, Indiana University, 284.

[30] Oyerinde, O.K. 2006. The Constitution of Order Among The Yoruba Of Nigeria. Thesis. Public and Environmental Affairs, Political Science, Indiana University, 283.

[31]Ibid. 284.

 

[32] Interview with Amusa Akinade Ajani, 80+ years, Baale of Sasa Community, Ibadan, March 13, 2021.

[33] Interview with Amusa Akinade Ajani, 80+ years, Baale of Sasa Community, Ibadan, March 13, 2021.

 

[34] Ibid.

[35]Interview with Chief Popoola Rasheed, 60+ Babaloja Sasa Market, Ibadan. May 4, 2021.

[36] Interview with Amusa Akinade Ajani, 80+ years, Baale of Sasa Community, Ibadan, March 13, 2021

[37] Interview with Chief Nasiru Aderemi Ogungbade, 60+years, Ekafa Baale of Sasa community, Ibadan, March 14, 2021.

[38]Interview with Chief Popoola Rasheed, 60+ Babaloja Sasa Market, Ibadan. May 4, 2021.

[39] Afolayan, A.A. 1987. The Sasa Resettlement Project: A Study In Problems Of Relocation. Habitat Intl.  11. 2: 53. Retrieved March 22, 2021 from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0197397587900555

[40]Interview with Chief Popoola Rasheed, 60+ Babaloja Sasa Market, Ibadan. May 4, 2021.

[41]Afolayan, A.A. 1987. Marketing, To The Rescue Of Sasa. Habitat International,  11. 2: 66. Retrieved July 9, 2021 from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0197397587900567

 

[42] A.A. Afolayan. 1987. Marketing, To The Rescue Of Sasa. Habitat International, 11.2: 66. Retrieved on July 9, 2021  from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0197397587900567

[43] Interview with Amusa Akinade Ajani, 80+ years, Baale of Sasa Community, Ibadan, March 13, 2021.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Interview with Amusa Akinade Ajani, 80+ years, Baale of Sasa Community, Ibadan, March 13, 2021

[47] Interview with Amusa Akinade Ajani, 80+ years, Baale of Sasa Community, Ibadan, March 13, 2021

 

[48] Interview with Chief Nasiru Aderemi Ogungbade, 60+years, Ekafa Baale of Sasa community, Ibadan, March 15, 2021.

[49] Interview with Amusa Akinade Ajani, 80+ years, Baale of Sasa Community, Ibadan, March 13, 2021.

[50] Fourchard, L. 2003. Understanding slum: case studies for the global report 2003, the case of Ibadan, Nigeria, Retrieved July 16, 2021 from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dpu-projects/Global_Report/pdfs/Ibadan.pdf

 

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