Akeredolu, Deji sue for peace as Hausa, Yoruba communities clash over Egungun festival
Sequel to the communal clash that broke out between the Hausa community and their hosts in Ondo State, the governor, Rotimi Akuredolu, and the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo, have urged both parties to embrace peace.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, visited the Sabo-Odojoka area yesterday to douse the tension and assess the level of damage in the metropolitan capital city as a result of the crisis.
The immediate cause of the mayhem was the purported attempt by some Hausa youths to prevent an Akure egungun (masquerade) from passing through their settlement on Sunday evening, after the normal rituals had been performed by the Elejoka, Chief Taiwo Afolabi.
The Guardian gathered that a life was lost to the incident, two houses and five vehicles set on fire, while property worth millions of naira were utterly destroyed when the crisis broke out.
Akeredolu decried the clash between some members of the Hausa community and traditional masquerade worshippers, appealing for calm between the two communities who had hitherto lived in peace and harmony.
He urged the people, irrespective of their tribe and religion, to continue with their businesses without any fear of attack, assuring that the police and other security operatives had been deployed to maintain peace and orderliness across the state.
The governor stated that his administration had taken adequate measures to forestalling any reoccurrence of the clash, urging the people to report any grudges to their community head, leaders, police or other constituted authorities rather than taking the laws into their hands.
As at press time, several shops in Sabo area, mainly populated by the Hausa people were under keys and lock, while one the houses set ablaze the previous day was still burning as smoke spiraled out of the debris.
There were security operatives stationed in all the nooks and crannies of the environment, while a mobile contingent was parading every part of the area for surveillance and intelligence gathering.
Whereas, the Deji of Akure, in the company of some high chiefs, also visited the area to pacify the disgruntled communities, urging Akure people not to unleash terror on the Hausa community.
The clash was reportedly stoked due to confrontations between some youths in the Hausa community, who allegedly obstructed the traditionalists that were celebrating Egungun Isopo festival.
The Guardian learnt that the Akure community, led by the Elijoka, had announced the festival through the media five days before the egungun festival, directing residents living along Sabo-Odojoka area to keep off the area during the festival, which was to last for a day.