By Sodiq Lawal
The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons has distributed more than 200 grinding machines to victims of the March 8, 2017 clash in Ile-Ife.
Speaking at the distribution exercise on Tuesday in Ile Ife, Sadiya Farouq, the Federal Commissioner of NCFRMI, represented by Margret Ukegbu, the Southwest Zonal Director of the commission, lauded members of the Hausa and Ife communities for embracing peace.
She said the commission had distributed food items as immediate needs to the victims after the crisis last year, adding that it was now commencing the process of empowering them with grinding machines to ensure sustainable livelihood.
Farouq said: “We give all glory to God that both communities can come together and receive the materials joyfully, showing that normalcy has returned to the land.”
Farouq, who enjoined the two communities to continue to maintain peaceful coexistence, said “we are proud to partner with Ife Hausa people for we know that they are not lazy”.
He added: “We pledge that more empowerment kits will still be given if they utilise the ones given judiciously.’’
The Executive Secretary of Ife Central Local Government, Olayera Elugbaju, expressed gratitude at the return of peace and harmony to the ancient city.
Elugbaju acknowledged the support of the state government, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and other philanthropists who assisted the victims during and after the crisis.
He also commended the commission for its gesture and urged the three tiers of government and other well- meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of the victims.
Alhaji Mohammed Sanni, who spoke on behalf of the Hausa community, thanked NCFRMI for its gesture.
Areola Shobola, who represented Ife community, also expressed gratitude to the commission for distributing food items and empowering victims with grinding machines.
Shobola said that both communities had normalised their relationship, urging all residents to be security conscious and not allow hoodlums perpetrate crisis in the area.