Ife crisis not Hausa/Yoruba clash- Interior Minister
- …Says perpetrators would be brought to book
By Lawrence Olaoye
Interior Minister, Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazzau, has said that the recent crisis between the Hausa Community and their hosts in Ile-Ife should not be regarded as one between Hausa and Yoruba ethnic groups.
The minister, who briefed State House Correspondents on his interventionist efforts on the crisis at the weekend, said the skirmish was initiated by miscreants who are currently on the run.
Danbazzau, however, have the assurance that perpetrators of the crisis would be arrested and dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the law.
He also gave the assurance that the government would not shirk his constitutional responsibility of providing adequate security for its citizens.
Danbazzau said “I was able to visit Ife yesterday on my arrival from South Africa where I went in company of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss with the South African government on the issues pertaining to the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.
“I moved straight to Ife yesterday because of what happened in Ife when we were away. The Deputy governor of Osun State, because the governor was away here in Abuja for NEC meeting, received me and my entourage and we went straight to the community where this crisis occurred and we saw the extent of damage and we met the leadership of the community and we discussed with them.
“And it is very clear that this issue is not about crisis between Hausa community and Yoruba community in Ife. The Hausa community has been living in Ife close to 200 years. I understand that the first settlers arrived in 1820 and this is about the 4th or 5th generation. They have never experienced this kind of thing until now.
“So it is not about ethnic issue. It is about a bunch of people who decided to constitute themselves into nuisance to carry out this dastardly act. Quite a number of them escaped from the community.
“So we made them understand that they should not look at it from the point of ethnicity and they all agreed. We also emphasis the need to remain in peace and the issue of revenge, reprisal shouldn’t come to anybody’s mind because the government is handling the situation and those who are found to be involved and deliberately attack and take people’s lives and destroyed properties will be dealt with in accordance with the law. We made them understand that the government is up and doing; the government is taking up its responsibility in ensuring that it protects lives and properties because in accordance with chapter two of the constitution, the purpose of government is protection of lives and properties.
Then I moved to Ibadan the same day and met with all the leaderships of Hausa community in the South West. We discussed all the issues and that they discuss with their people to peaceful co-existence.”