Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has cautioned the police over the handling of its investigation on the recent crisis in Ile-Ife, Osun State that led to the death of more than 40 people, saying “it appears that the police has so far demonstrated ethnic bias in its investigation and this is not good for the unity of Nigeria and its people.”
The governor, who condemned the killing of innocent people and destruction of properties in Ile-Ife, said; “whether committed by Yoruba, Ibo, Hausa or any tribe, crime is crime and it must be treated as such. However, handling of crime must be without ethnic bias.”
The governor said it was strange that; “In a clash involving the people of Ile-Ife, who are Yoruba and Hausa, who are settlers in the ancient town, only Yoruba were arrested, taken to Abuja and paraded before the press.”
In a statement issued in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Governor Fayose, who condemned the mayhem and described the loss of innocent souls as unfortunate, said there was no way the Police can convince Nigerians that only those 20 Yoruba that were paraded in Abuja were involved in the crisis.
He expressed concern that the same police that intervened promptly in the Ile-Ife crisis, made arrests and paraded 20 people as alleged masterminds of the mayhem had been unable to arrest and parade any of the killer Fulani herdsmen that have wasted and still wasting the lives of thousands of Nigerians across the country.
“If there was a clash between Yoruba people and Hausas in Ile-Ife, are the police now saying that only the Yoruba took part in the crisis?
“Both Yoruba and Hausa were attacked. Properties belonging to both Yorubas and Hausas were destroyed. Are the police sayings that those 20 Yorubas that they paraded in Abuja were the ones who attacked the Yoruba people that were also victims of the crisis and destroyed those houses belonging to the indigenes of Ile-Ife that were destroyed?
“In my own opinion, the investigation so far conducted by the police was done with ethnic bias and I demand for thorough investigation that is devoid of ethnic sentiments.
“Also, to prevent future reoccurrence of such crisis, I call on the Osun State Government to set up a judicial panel of inquiry to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the crisis, as well as identify the masterminds of the crisis.
“Most importantly, security agencies in the country must treat all crimes as the same, irrespective of those perpetrating them. As it appears, crimes committed by Fulani herdsmen against other Nigerians are not being treated as crimes that should be given attention by the security agencies and this is worrisome.”