By Kehinde Ayantunji
-Kwankwaso Lauds Osun As IGP Team Commences Investigation
More facts emerged on Tuesday on how Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, and Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi swift intervention minimized proximity of damaged and loss of lives during last week Yoruba and Hausa tribal clash in Ile- Ife.
The governor, and Ooni Ogunwsusi rescued over 1,000 people held hostage by hoodlums who had already looted and vandalised valuable properties in Sabo, dominated by Hausa and some others areas in Ile – Ife.
According to top security sources, the governor after receiving report of captive of over 1,000 on Wednesday held in an unknown destination for possibly mass slaughter mobilised all security agencies for the rescue of the victims.
In a rescued footage shown to OSUN DEFENDER Reporter in Ile- Ife, most of the captives were women and children between the ages of 10 and 13. The combined team of the Nigeria Army, Police, Civil Defence Corps, Department of the State Services and some Ife Chiefs led the operation to dislodge the hoodlums and rescued the victims.
The rescued victims were however handed over to Seriki of Hausa in Ile -Ife and reunited them with their families in less than 24 hours while those that required medical attention were rushed to Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital, Ile- Ife.
According to International Convention subscribed to by Nigeria, Genocide has occurred in any country or state where religion, ethnic, political, tribal or communal crisis claim more than two hundreds lives.
Article II of the convention states that “genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”.
Governor Aregbesola while playing host to Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Corp Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi on courtesy visit, at Government House on Tuesday commended the security agencies for the swift response to curtail the level of damages.
He said his administration with the cooperation of security agencies has restored peace to Ile-Ife and dismissed media report that some Hausa’s are migrating, adding that normalcy has finally returns to Ife.
He said: “the crisis was just for two hours, though that two hours was traumatic and horrible but not as bad as the impression some section of the media are creating.”
“For your information , within two hours of the commencement of the incident, the mayhem began at about 6.00 am and before 9. 30am, all the security agencies, Nigeria Army, Police, DSS, NSCDC, including security agencies that are unconnected with the crisis, FRSC, Nigeria Custom, Nigeria Immigration had mobilised to the centre of the crisis with all available gadget including armored vehicles not less than three”
“It will not be appropriate for us not to let Nigerians know that it was not lack of prompt attention that allowed that horrendous and isolated satanic incident to happen, but some miscreants within that two hours capitalised on minor conflicts between two individuals who already enjoyed mutual social relationship.”
“The primary course of that clash could not in any way be linked with the quantum of damages, and in my meeting with the head of security agencies, our preliminary conclusion was that miscreants capitalize on the opportunity of that little infraction to engage themselves from both sides. In fact, one the security agents said it was a degeneration of disagreement between the two individuals and street gangs fight that really caused the mayhem.”
“Why it is necessary for us to describe this, is that Ife has been living with Hausa’ s for centuries, the Seriki Hausa is about 65 years, he was born in Ife, his father was also born in Ife, he is also a Chief in the palace of Ooni (Seriki of Ife land), the two tribes have been enjoying harmonious relationship from inception”, Aregbesola said.
Meanwhile, former Kano State Governor, Senator Rabiu Kwankaso has commended Governor Aregbesola for his response to the crisis which to a large extent minimized loss of lives and properties.
Senator Kwankaso who led the National Assembly members to the state on the spot assessment said, the intervention and the support of the governor in the past has really halted the escalation of the crisis and urged Hausa community in the state to be peaceful and law abiding.
Senator Kwankaso in company of Senator Babajide Omoworare who arrived government house late Monday night held meeting with leaders of Hausa‘s (Seriki) in about 20 local governments in the state on early Tuesday to get firsthand information on the remote causes of the crisis and the level of damage.
Kwankaso who spoke in Hausa language said, “we are to condole with the government of Osun and the Arewa community in Osun, and specially commend Governor Aregbesola for saving the lives of our people, the people I, not too long held their resources in trust as Governor, the people I represent as Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
“ They reported to me during our discussion that the governor has been so kind to them and he has been rendering necessary support since inception of his administration even before the beginning of the crisis, I want to appeal to Mr governor and other concern agencies to double their efforts in supporting those who lost properties and displaced in the crisis. I pray that this ugly incident will not repeat itself”.
He said as Muslims, they should continue to pray for the peace and harmony of Nigeria and stability of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In his addresses, Seriki Hausa of Osogbo and Chairman Council of Serikis in the state, commended Governor Aregbesola and dismissed the media reports that some of their people were relocating back to the North.
He said, those that are traveling are going to their various farm lands to prepare ahead for the raining season, saying they have accepted the incident as the wish of Almighty Allah and urged the governor to accelerate any assistance to be rendered for the people who lost properties.
However, as at the time of filling this reports, the Governor, head of security agencies, Ife traditional chiefs, Kwankaso, Omoworare, former Minister of Water Recourses, Chief Bashir Awotorebo, former member of House of representatives, members of the state assembly from Ife, former commissioners, leaders of Hausa community in Osun were already holding a reconciliation meeting at Ife city Hall.
Meanwhile, the Police Fact Finding Committee raised by the Inspector General of Police, Ibraheem Idris has commenced investigation of the remote cause of the crisis.
The team arrived Ile-Ife on Monday but declined to speak to media on the terms of their mission.
The team was led by a Commissioner of Police from Force Headquarter, CP Muhammed Bello .