There was tension at the Sabo area in Ile Ife on Thursday when Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State visited the scene of the communal clash to assess the level of damage done during the Wednesday clash between the Yoruba and Hausa.
It was observed that many houses, shops and vehicles were razed during the clash which happened Wednesday. Some Hausa youths were seen carrying placards protesting against the destruction of their property and the killing of their people.
Also, some Yoruba youths around Ilare were heard protesting against the killing of their kinsmen and the destruction of their property. Some of the youths said some victims were killed by security agents, who allegedly shot directly at them. Brig. Gen. Emico Eruwa, and the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr. Philip Ayodele, addressed the angry Hausa youths at Sabo and assured them of maximum security.
The security chiefs urged them to remain calm, adding that the governor came to assess the damage in order to assist them. The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, said he was saddened by the clash, but expressed gratitude to God that the fight was quickly brought under control. The Ooni spoke when the governor, his deputy, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori; and the security chiefs visited the Ooni’s palace after visiting the scene. He urged residents of the town to fish out the “strange elements” among them who caused the crisis.
He said, “You can only know when war starts, but no one can say when or where it will stop. Ife people welcome visitors. What happened is a sad development. “We should all watch out for some strange people who want to divide us. We have all been living together in the town and there was nothing like this.”
The monarch also told the Hausa community to watch out for strange faces among them, saying those who caused the trouble should be fished out. “Security agents will arrest all those behind this crisis. Ile Ife is a home of peace. “Why are we killing each other and destroying property? We believe in one Nigeria. We have Hausa here, there are Ife people in the North as well,” he added. Aregbesola said the curfew imposed on Ile Ife had been extended tillMonday.
He said the curfew would start by 6pm and end by 7am until Monday when the situation would be reviewed. He said, “It is sad that Ife witnessed killings and the destruction of property again after the Ife / Modakeke crisis ended about 15 years ago.“It pained us that lives were lost and property were destroyed.
Those who caused this and participated in the clash will be arrested irrespective of their position and their ethnic groups.” He wondered why slapping just one person could degenerate into a serious crisis. He said people should learn to be civil and law abiding rather than resort to violence. He said, “To those outside Ile Ife, there is no clash between Yoruba and Hausa people in Ile Ife.
This crisis was caused by some hoodlums from both sides. I am happy to tell you that one of them has been arrested. “We will try our best for those that were affected by the crisis. Tell your people that we will assist them in one way or the other.”
The Seriki Hausa of Ile Ife, Mahmood Madagali, said the police tried their best on Tuesday when the crisis started, adding that he was surprised that it continued on Wednesday. “The Hausa people should rest assured that those behind the crisis will be arrested. Let us ensure peace because there is nothing good that can come out of violence,” he added.
BEN TV Lagos