The “divisive” utterances by some South-West governors were responsible for the killings in Shasha market in Ibadan, Oyo State, Senate President Ahmed Lawan alleges.
He also blamed the governors for other violence against Hausas, Fulanis and other northerners in the region.
A crisis had on February 18 erupted in Shasha following an argument that ensued between a pregnant Yoruba woman and a Hausa businessman.
Following the development, many were killed while many houses were burnt, which rendered thousands of Hausa residents homeless. An estimated 5,000 people have been displaced with many more fleeing the area over fears of reprisals.
Speaking in an interview with BBC Hausa Service, Lawan attributed the violence to the latest call for the eviction of Fulani herders out of Southwestern states.
“Leadership failures in the region cause what happened in Oyo State and other things that kept happening in the Southwestern states,” he said.
“Some utterances by some governors also went a long way in inciting the citizens to take up arms against other ethnic groups settling in their states.
“The governors’ utterances emboldened the criminals to unleash violence against the northerners.”
Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo state, had last month issued a seven-day quit notice to Fulani herdsmen operating illegally in the state’s forest reserves.
Apart from ejecting the herdsmen, the governor also banned underage grazing, night grazing, and cattle movement within the cities and on highways.
The issue generated an uproar, and after a meeting with various stakeholders, Akeredolu asked herdsmen to register with the government to operate unhindered in the forest reserves.
Sunday Adeyemo, better known as Sunday Igboho, also asked herdsmen in Igangan in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo state to leave within seven days following reports of the killing of some residents.
Days after, violence erupted in the area during which the houses and property of the Seriki Fulani, Alhaji Saliu Abdulkadir, were burnt.
Abdulkadir had told SaharaReporters that he, his wives and children were sent out of the settlement, adding that 11 vehicles and houses were burnt in the process.
The Seriki had after that fled the community with his family, as aggrieved youths set fire on the settlement.