By Monsuru Olowoopejo
The clash between the Yoruba and Hausa Community in Mile 12, Kosofe Local Government, Lagos might have ended, but a shocking revelation emerged last Monday, on how the clash was escalated by the acrimony between the two Obas in the council.
The Obas were Oba of Ikosi, Oba Alamu Oloyede and Oba of Ketu, Oba Isiaka Balogun.
The acrimony between the Obas, Vanguard gathered started few years ago, as a boundary dispute. Both traditional leaders accused the other of trespassing on his land.
Sources said that in a bid to end the animosity between both traditional rulers, Oba of Lagos, Oba Riliwanu Akiolu, who also doubles as the Permanent Chairman of the traditional rulers in the state, organised a peace meeting at his palace for both Obas. But the traditional rulers failed to sheath their sword and accept the peace accord.
And when the Mile 12 clash which started from a commercial motorcycle popularly called Okada related accident became heightened, sources said that rather than the traditional leaders collaborating to quell the clash, both traditional leaders acted separately.
It was learned that this further exacerbated the clash which led to the death of over 10 persons in the community.
Speaking at a stakeholders forum organised by Akiolu for the Yorubas and the Hausa Community, to address the issue at his Palace, Lagos Island Local Government, Oloyede, lamented that after the peace meeting held at the Oba’s palace, he had visited Balogun on four different occasions to end the acrimony between them.
The Onikosi said: “He (Balogun) did not show any sign of accepting the peace accord held to address the issue. And there is need for us to work together in order to bring unity in the state.
Oloyede complained that the entire Mile 12 market community had no regard whatsoever for the monarch or constituted authorities.
Narrating his own side of the story, Balogun said, “It is very unfortunate that the clash occurred. But we are ready to unite in Kosofe to ensure that such clash does not occur again.”
Speaking at the forum, Akiolu ordered the traditional rulers to sheath their swords and work together for the peace of the council.
He directed all the stakeholders to liase with the traditional rulers and Iyaloja General to proffer a lasting solution to the clash that had crippled business activities in the council.
The monarch also urged the traditional rulers to lead by example and be more committed to promoting peace in their domain.
The Oba, however, accused the rulers distancing themselves from the residents, saying “otherwise the disagreement, though natural in human communities, would not have escalated to full scale war.
“How many times did you hear that those (Hausa and Yoruba traders) around here fight? It can never happen around here. But you are too far from them. You said that they don’t respect you. It is because you kept demanding money from them, which I don’t do around here (Lagos Island). That is why you will have no respect among them.
“Such crisis has to stop and culprits must be punished. Even if it my own kinsmen, they have to pay for this. I heard that the Lagos State House of Assembly has said that the market should be relocated. I will have to meet with the governor to know if relocation will be a better alternative,” he added.
Akiolu stressed that Lagos remains home for all Nigerians, but he would personally not allow room for indiscipline, thuggery or foreigners’ disrespect for the Lagos indigenes.
Sarkin Hausawa of Lagos, Aminu Yaro, who led the Hausa leaders to the Oba’s palace, said that the mayhem was unfortunate, as it occurred in a community that had accommodated them for several years.
Yaro, said while they would be unrelenting in promoting peaceful coexistence, the Hausa leadership would commence a reorientation programme for the Hausa all the state on how they should conduct themselves in Lagos.