Ife Crisis: Yoruba Leaders Feel Aggrieved
The Afenifere, a social-cultural group of Yoruba leaders are disgusted by the role of security agencies in the crisis between Hausa and Yoruba residents in Ile-Ife, Osun state.
They have released a statement entitled: “Ife Crisis: The Hounding After and Yoruba's Stand” in which they are also seeking an amicable solution to the crisis.
Afenifere condemned what it described as ‘indiscriminate arrest of Ile-Ife citizens’ by the police.
More annoying for the leaders is the alleged arrest of a monarch, the Alapoje of Alapoje community in Ife, Oba Ademola Ademiluyi, who was arrested along with 14 other indigenes.
Like other tribes, Yorubas revere their kings and said it was wrong of the police to embark on indiscriminate arrest of Yoruba residents, especially a royal father.
Recalling that the crisis started when a Hausa resident assaulted a Yoruba woman, the Afenifere said an undergraduate with the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Yekini Saka; Francis Eludoyin, Oshowade Lukman, Sikiru Jimoh, Isaac Omisanmi, and Adigun Osuolale, were also arrested.
It said, “Leading citizens of Yoruba nation are grieved by the recent disturbance in Ile-Ife, the cradle of Yoruba civilisation. We are concerned that lives were lost on our land as it is not in our character to open our land for bloodletting.
“The whole world acknowledges that we welcome foreigners and go the extra mile to make them happy. And this explains why our space is hospitable and allows strangers to prosper and feel at home.
“In Ife, in particular, the Arewa community has a record of over 80 years’ stay in the ancient city and has never come under attack not even when there were serious disturbances between the local communities.
“The Sabo area was a safe place to be in those disturbing days. This is why it is very important to interrogate the cause of the recent disturbance. Our way of life is being violently violated with sheer impunity. We shall not take it anymore.”
Afenifere also commended the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, for physically going to the scene to quell the conflict and urged the Federal Government to call the key actors in the crisis to a peace meeting.