By Niyi Olutunde, Akure
Following the clash happened on Sunday evening in Akure between some members of Hausa community and Yorubas which claimed one person, the Deji of Akure Kingdom, Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi has appealed to all residents in Akure, especially Hausas community to be law abiding and maintain peace.
While addressing the Hausas community in Sabo/Odojoka area where the clash happened, Oba Aladelusi appealed to the leaders of the Hausa community and the Elejoka of Odojoka, Chief Taiwo Afolabi to talk to their people to maintain peace in the state.
The monarch who was in company with the state Deputy Governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi, SSG, Hon Ifedayo Abegunde, state Commissioner of Police, Mr Gbenga Adeyanju among others to access the level of damage warned those who resides and have shops in the area not to make life difficult for themselves.
Aladelusi said, “we are one both Hausa and Yoruba because we are living together” and promised to call a meeting which would involve all the groups and meet with the state government to ensure that the peace that is being enjoyed in the sunshine state capital continues.
When our Correspondent visited the place, shops were seeing under lock and key and a very large number of youths seeing sitting in front of houses.
A house said to have been set ablaze the previous day was still burning while owners of properties destroyed were counting their loses as they discussed in groups.
As at the time filing this report, security operatives were still at area to endure no forestall fresh attack.
The clash was said to have been triggered between traditionalists who were said to be observing Egungun Isopo festival and some Hause traders.
It was gathered that the Akure community led by the Elejoka, Chief Afolabi had gone on air announcing the celebration of the Egungun festival and directed all residents living along the Sabo-Odojoka street to keep off the streets during the festival which was to last for a day.
Findings revealed that the clash started when the Egungun (masquerades) and the traditional worshippers were said to have cited a Hausa man pushing wheel barrow attempting to pass through their midst and also attempted to resisted the egungun (masquerade) from passing through the street.
The Hausa man was said to have been flogged by the masquerade before the crisis started.
During the clash, one house, four cars as well as properties worth millions of naira were burnt.
Meanwhile, the state government, in strong terms has condemned the clash.
In a Press Statement issued and signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Yemi Olowolabi, which was made available to journalists in Akure reads in parts, “the state government wishes to inform the good people of Ondo State that peace and normalcy have been returned to the area, while the police and other security agencies are working to ensure peace in all parts of the state.
“Government also wishes to advise the people, irrespective of tribe or religion, to go about their businesses without any fear of attack or molestation.
“The government has met with representatives of both parties involved in the fracas and has taken positive steps to resolve it.
“Government, therefore, wishes to state that this administration is seriously working to prevent a recurrence of the incident, while urging that all must resist attempts by disgruntled elements to foment trouble in any part of the state.
“The administration of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, wishes to advise the people of the state to always report their grievances to their community leaders, the police and other relevant authorities for peaceful resolution, rather than taking laws into their hands”.