Ife crisis: OPC condemns mode of arrest

Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) on Wednesday called for caution on the part of security operatives in the handling of the recent feud between Ife indigenes and their Hausa dwellers, urging the security operatives to immediate release all Ife indigenes arrested in the aftermath of the crisis while more holistic measure is adopted to find a solution.

The OPC gave this warning in a statement made available through its Publicity Secretary, Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin, saying its reaction was fueled by raging allegations that only Ife indigenes were singled out for arrest in connection with the crisis which erupted in the Sabo area of the ancient town, in which several lives were lost.

The group, which gave the position after rising from an emergency meeting on ways forward on the crisis, stressed that limiting arrest over the fracas to Ife indigenes smacked of bias.

OPC called for better amicable intervention that would restore peace into the town, just as it also expressed concern that the measure being adopted to quell the crisis would only midwife a cold comfort, should the indigenes be made to bear the scars of the tussle alone.

According to the group, Ife, being the cradle of the Yoruba, is symbolic and being held in high esteem by sons and daughters from the race, hence, issues connected with the ancient town should be treated with care and accuracy.

“Ife is our root. Ife and Yoruba race as a whole are known for uncommon hospitality. We care for settlers in our domain to a fault and this is why we believe there are more to the recent crisis that engulfed Ife than meets the eyes.

“You will recall that at the point when Ife and Modakeke were engulfed in crisis, no harm befell any of the settlers on both sides.

“We ensured that their lives and properties were protected adequately. And this was ensured basically as a mark of respect for the rights of the settlers, who we believe, have right to settle down in any part of Yoruba domain to do business.

“We will not want this hospitality to be mistaken for cowardice. The Yoruba race is not and will never submit to being a conquered nation.

“We say no, to any treatment that will restrict us to being slaves on our own land. We say no to any measure skewed to favour only a side in a crisis of this nature.

“We call for the release of all the arrested Ife indigenes while a better, amicable way be proffered to calm all frayed nerves and settle the crisis permanently.

“We call on the Osun State government to exercise restraint on this matter by holding on comments until those investigating the crisis get to the root cause of it. Any attempt to apportion blames at this point will be preemptive,” the statement read.

OPC, however, called on the indigenes of the ancient town to remain calm while government and other relevant authorities put heads together to proffer better ways out of the crisis.

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