- 10 feared dead, scores injured, properties worth millions destroyed
- Hausa and Yoruba tribes clash in Sabo, Ile-Ife, Osun state
- Army and Police deployed as State Govt. impose curfew over the weekend
Tensions were high when at least 10 persons died, scores injured, properties worth millions burnt and destroyed in a bloodbath as Hausa and Yoruba ethnic tribes clashed at Saba market in Ile-Ife, Osun state.
The incident occurred when a Hausa man for unknown reasons slapped one pure-water vendor, Kuburat, who happened to be the wife of a Yoruba man in the community.
While responding to the sad event the Magaji of Hausa community in Ile-Ife and the secretary to the Alhaji Nasir Magaji central mosque condemned the actions of the unknown Hausa man which led to the deadly clash.
According to the Magaji: “It was Kuburat that provoked the Hausa man who slapped him and that after slapping her, many Hausa people were not in his support as they scolded him for doing that, but the Yoruba who were not pleased with the situation, retaliated by beating the Hausa man and others.”
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The ugly incident that actually occurred Tuesday night escalated and by midnight through Wednesday properties have been destroyed, shops burgled, cars set ablaze, and the Sabo and Lagere community in Ile-Ife have deserted by indigenes and Hausa residents in a bid to take cover.
The Police and Nigerian Army personnel have since been deployed to the distress community to calm nerves of both ethnic tribes residing in the area.
Meanwhile, the Osun state government has promptly declared a two day curfew in the entirety of Ile-Ife City which will elapse over the weekend by Friday.
According to a statement from the Director of Bureau of Communication, Media and Strategy to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Mr Semiu Okalawon said: “The curfew has been compelled by the breach of the peace in the area which led to avoidable destruction of lives and properties.
“The curfew, which will be between 6pm to 7am, will be in force till Friday.
SURVIVORS DESCRIBES SCENE
Describing the violent clash eyewitnesses who escaped the violent scene described as extremely dead as dangerous weapons such as daggers, guns, clubs, arrows, cutlasses and swords were brandished by both tribes.
The groups were formally organized and prepared to battle armed to teeth in Sabo area of the town. While the Hausa groups were said to have possessed clubs, daggers, bow and arrow and machetes; the Yorubas were said to have carry dane guns, cutlasses and other traditional weapons.
Pounds of flesh littered the ground as bodies were said to have been used to make bonfire by warring groups; just before a security personnel stormed the scene to restore peace and enforce law and other.
While speaking, the state governors Senior Special Assistant, Imam Muhammed Basir said; “The situation has taken a very dangerous dimension because as I am talking to you, one person had been shot dead.
“I have notified the state Governor and the police commissioner, Mr. Fimihan Adeoye and the State Director of the Department of State Security Services on the development.”
While responding, the acting Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar Koji through the command Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Folasade Odoro said, security operatives were in control of the situation.
Meanwhile, soldiers from the Engineering Construction Regiment, Ede, were promptly deployed to the distressed communities to foil further attacks and loss of lives and property.
STATE GOVT. REACTS
The state government has said it order the deployment of top security operatives to quell the crisis in Ile-Ife. The statement from the Governor’s office, signed by Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy Mr. Semiu Okalawon, had penned its preparedness of security operations to put-off whatever attack from warring sides that might lead to further escalation and destruction of life and properties in the city.
The statement reads: “This is to assure all and sundry that the breach of the peace in Ile-Ife is not beyond the control of our highly mobilized security forces.
“To this end, the governor of the state of Osun, upon receiving reports of the fracas, the exact cause of which is still under investigation, has ordered deployment of adequate security forces and is getting minute-by-minute investigation situation reports.
“This Government therefore warns those involved in this act of criminal breach of public peace to end it immediately as the full weight of the law would be brought to bear on anyone arrested.”
In the meantime, social economic activities has been restored to the city as combined forces of both the Nigerian Police and Army has paid off ensuring both tribes causes no further damage.