Femi Makinde, Osogbo
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on Wednesday, condemned the nature of the investigation launched into the clash which involved some Yoruba and Hausa people in Ile-Ife recently.
However, the monarch appealed to the leaders of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, to refrain from making inflammatory statements capable of causing further crisis in the country.
Oba Ogunwusi made the appeal when Afenifere leaders, led by Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Chief Olu Falae paid a visit to his palace to commiserate with him on the March 8 crisis, which claimed lives and destroyed properties.
The monarch expressed gratitude to the Afenifere leaders for their concern but begged them to consider the interest of the whole country while making remarks about the clash and the manner of investigation into it so that their comments would not cause another round of crisis in other parts of the country.
He said, “I want to implore everybody to exercise restraint because we all have family members all over Nigeria and even in other parts of the world. If we decide to be say things which could aggravate the situation, nobody knows what would be the end of any crisis, so we have to exercise patience.
Speaking in Yoruba, the Ooni said, “‘A kii fa’ri apa kan’ (it is not proper to shave one side of the head and leave the other side unshaved)”
This elicited laughter from the palace messengers (emese), who sat round his stool.
Each of the messenger’s head is shaved on one side while the other side is left unshaved.
The monarch later made a clarification on his proverb when he expatiated on it, saying ‘a kii fa’ri apa kan, bi ti emese ko o’.
He said he had told security agents to look into all the issues surrounding the clash, saying everybody should be concerned about how to make sure that such a tragic clash never reoccurred.
The monarch described the Yoruba race as a special race wherein Christians and Muslims live together amicably without engaging in religious war.
He stated that the Yoruba people should be studied by researchers because of their level of religious tolerance.
He advised the youths not to allow themselves to be used by politicians, saying where were the politicians coming to the Sabo area in Ile-Ife now before the clash happened?
Afenifere leader, Adebanjo, accused the police of being behind the crisis. He said the way they handled the crisis was the reason for its escalation.
He also berated the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, for not being apologetic even when the force was accused of bias in their investigation into the clash.
Adebanjo said the group was not against the arrest of Yoruba suspects but it frowned on the arrest of only Yoruba persons when the clash was between some Yoruba and Hausa people.
He said, “We were surprised that such a tragedy occurred between those, who had been living peacefully for decades without any clash. Even when there was a crisis amongst ourselves, they (Hausa/Fulani) were not affected. The police caused the crisis.
“The police who are supposed to be neutral were taking sides especially, the Inspector-General, who should be remorseful for the shoddy job done by his men is justifying their actions.
“We are not against the arrest of the Yoruba people. Yoruba people were killed during the clash, their houses were burnt; their shops were looted. Is he saying that the Yoruba people who were killed committed suicide?
“The IGP should not think that Yoruba people are fools. Yoruba and Hausa people have been living together before he was born.”
Falae said Afenifere leaders were in Ife to commiserate with the victims and to give them some gifts. (Punchng.com)