Afenifere to enforce rights of Ife indigenes indicted in ethnic clash
• OPC condemns police over arrest of 21 natives
• Omisore pledges assistance to victims
Worried about what it described as illegal and unconstitutional arrest of 21 indigenes of Ile-Ife, Osun State over the recent clash between the community and the Hausa, Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere has vowed to intervene in the issue.
Afenifere, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin said: “As a first step to our position on the crisis, we have assembled a team of lawyers to enforce the fundamental human rights of the 21 Yoruba persons.”
According to them: “It is a clear fact that the investigation and trial of suspects must take place at the scene of the crime.”
Afenifere said: “Our legal team will challenge this subversion of due process while pressure continues on why two tribes involved in a fight and only members of one community were indicted by the police whose leadership is of the same ethnic with the other party in the conflict.
“We restate the fact that the Arewa group started the crisis in Ife by killing a young Yoruba man. This is clearly missing in the skewed report by the police.”
Also, the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) has condemned the arrest of 21 indigenes of the town and the outcome of police investigation on the incident.
The group’s position was made known yesterday by its National Coordinator, Otunba Gani Adams.
Adams, while urging peaceful resolution of the issue, asked, “how come the people and residents of Ife are the ones who were being paraded as the masterminds of the violence. Who set more than 40 houses of Yorubas on fire in Ife? Why were the police and military quick to sweep into action and make several arrests when other places where many were killed in the past?
“We are therefore calling on the police to be objective and do the needful and stop one-sided prosecution to allow justice to prevail.”
Meanwhile, a former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore has pledged assistance to victims of the crisis.
Omisore spoke yesterday during a visit to those affected by the violence in the ancient town.
Oba Idowu Adediwura, the Obalufe of Ife Kingdom and second-in-command to Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, commended Omisore for the good gesture to his people.