The pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, on Monday, faulted the fact that no Hausa/Fulani suspect was included among the suspects involved in the Ile- Ife violence. All 20 suspects, are Yoruba people, including a traditional ruler, Oba Ademola Ademiluyi, the Lawarikan of Apojeland, were paraded in Abuja at The Police Force Headquarters.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said 38 suspects were earlier arrested, detained and investigated, out of which 18 persons, who were not involved in the violence, were released. The Police also denied targeting any ethnic group, claiming that all suspects were apprehended based on investigations.
There was no explanation however about why none of the Hausa traders, who allegedly started the fracas and killed some residents, were not among the suspects in the violence that reportedly claimed 46 lives and injured over 90 residents, some of who are still hospitalised.
The police spokesman explained that one Kuburat Eluwole triggered the violence when she allegedly slapped one Abubakar Mohammed in the course of an argument. Her husband then reportedly had thugs attack Hausa residents in the area.
Faulting the police, Afenifere said it objected seriously to the parade of the “so-called suspects in Abuja that is hundreds of miles away from the scene of the conflict.
“The Abuja show is undue sectional deployment of federal might to intimidate and harass a party in the conflict. It is direct fallout of the threat of the Interior Minister (Abdulrahaman Danbazzau) after he visited Ife.
“The minister is not on record to have visited any scene of conflict where Fulani herdsmen have inflicted ‘massacres’ on their host communities in the Southern and Middle Belt communities since he was appointed.
“The Ife crisis was sparked by the beheading of a Yoruba vulcaniser and the subsequent parade of his severed head on a pole. How come there is no member of the Arewa community paraded by the police?
“We reject the one-eyed Magistrate that the police have become in this matter and which is as a result of the ethnic composition of the police presently.
“We demand the immediate transfer of the suspects to Osun state. We will resist this ethnic vengeance through the police except we see arrests of the Fulani aggressors in the Ife conflict.”