A pan-Yoruba group, Oodua People’s Congress, has given the Federal Government and the Nigeria Police Force 48 hours to arrest the Fulani/Hausa persons involved in the crisis in Ile-Ife, Osun State, which resulted in the death of about 46 persons.
The OPC gave the warning in a statement by its founder, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, on Thursday.
It said, “We hereby call on the Federal Government to intervene within the next 48 hours to ensure that justice is institutionalised and no side is provoked to defend justice according to its whims and caprices. Various communities have Abraham as their father. A word is enough for the wise.”
The group said it was unfortunate that 20 Yoruba persons, including a monarch, were arrested and paraded by the police while not a single Hausa/Fulani belligerent was detained.
The OPC added, “The police and the Federal Government appear determined to make scapegoats of Yoruba living in Ife over this crisis. It is unfortunate, strange and insensitive that two people are fighting and authorities are arresting only one party in this unfortunate mayhem.
“We sympathise with all victims and casualties over this moment of madness that has eroded two centuries of harmonious cohabitation between the Hausa settlers and their Yoruba hosts. But we demand equal treatment of everyone involved on both sides of this crisis.”
The group questioned the role of a former Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, in the arrest of the 20 persons.
It said Kwankwaso stampeded Governor Rauf Argebesola of Osun State and the Commissioner of Police into the ‘senseless’ arrests.
According to the OPC, Kwankwaso’s role is reminiscent of the role played by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Yoruba/Fulani clash in Ibadan in 2000.
“Kwankwanso’s post-violence role in Ife is akin to that played by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari who in October 2000 travelled to Ibadan to challenge the late governor Lam Adesina over the reprisal on Fulani herdsmen who had unleashed an orgy of raping and killings on Yoruba farming communities.
“This kind of bias will only embolden belligerent Hausa-Fulani throughout Nigeria and give them pariah status amongst other nationalities,” the OPC warned.
The OPC decried the failure of the police and the Federal Government to dislodge Fulani herdsmen who had since 2016 invaded and occupied the Agatu and Oturkpo communities in Benue State and parts of Enugu State.
“Where are those Hausa-Fulani who went on a killing spree in Southern Kaduna, Agatu and Chief Olu Falae’s farm? Are they untouchable? The Federal Government and the police should stop behaving as if Nigeria is the Hausa-Fulani’s conquered territory where they can kill and maim and rape at will,” the OPC.
Also, the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, and the Gani Adams’ faction of the OPC have cautioned the police over the handling of investigation on the crisis in Ile-Ife.