The leader of Oodu’a Peoples Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams has accused the Nigeria Police of taking sides in the recent violent clash that engulfed the ancient town of Ile-ife, between some indigenes of the town, and Hausa/Fulani settlers.
This was contained in a statement signed by Adams and made available to DAILY POST on Saturday, where he expressed worry over sectional approach the police had adopted in tackling the issue, which in his words remains “two fighting.”
He wondered why no single Hausa/Fulani extraction was among the 21 suspects arrested and paraded in Abuja by the police for their involvement in the crisis.
The OPC leader alleged that the pattern of arrest signalled a clear display of tribalism, which would be resisted by well meaning Yoruba leaders and Nigerians at large.
“It beats my imagination that a government that has been playing lip service to the lingering blood letting going on in Southern Kaduna, suddenly woke up from its slumber when the pendulum swings Westwards to begin an illegal arrest of Ife indigenes and leaving out the Hausa/Fulani who were deeply involved in the crisis untouched.
“The police recently paraded 21 suspects that were arrested in the aftermath of the crisis and to my chagrin, all of them were Yoruba. This leaves a question mark as to why no Hausa/Fulani was arrested, even as reports indicated that it was one of the Hausa/Fulani, residing in the Sabo area of the ancient city that sparked up the crisis. Infact, Yoruba recorded the first three casualties before the crisis went full scale.
” In the light of the foregoing, I join other Yoruba leaders and some prominent Nigerians to condemn the police for its one-sided parade of Ile-Ife residents over the recent clash between the Yoruba and Hausa communities in the ancient city. I make bold to say that the arrest, as being skewed by the police, is a display of huge tribalism
“On behalf of my organisations, the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) and the Oodua Progressive Union, (OPU), I hereby state our serious objection to a one-sided arrest in a clash between two ethnic groups. We detest, in strong terms the undue deployment of federal influence along fault lines on the Ile-Ife crisis.
“We also suspect foul play as well as favouritism that those who were arrested for an offence allegedly committed in Ife were being bundled up to Abuja for nothing but sheer intimidation. We know it is not right, by law, to charge anybody in Abuja for a crime allegedly committed in Ife.
“We believe that issues that are capable of conflagrating this country must be avoided with a passion. Parading some people and saying they are culprits has severe tribal linkages with dire consequences. We cannot afford that at this point in time.
“We are like sitting on some keg of gunpowder. Politically, the action taken so far is not wise. And I want to appeal to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) that parading one tribe is not sensible. The interpretation would go beyond the level we can control. The action is not palatable because Nigeria is a heterogeneous state.
It is not too late to correct the trend. This is very imperative as we are not going to fold our arms to see our land being overthrown from us.
We cannot play the role of second fiddle in this case of palpable altercation involving two ethnic groups,” the statement reads.
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