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Ile Ife crisis: Presidency under fire for allegedly influencing police investigation

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– Some prominent Nigerians from the south west accuse the police of bias over the handling of the Ile-Ife crisis

– The Yoruba Youth Socio-Cultural Association (YYSA) says it is improper to charge suspect in Abuja for a crime allegedly committed in Ife

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– Chief Olabode George, warns the police that one-sided parade of suspects is not palatable for the country

Yoruba leaders have faulted the police for parading only Ife residents following the recent tribal clash in Ile Ife.

Some prominent Nigerians from the south west have criticised the police for its alleged one-sided parade of Ile-Ife residents over the recent clash between the Yoruba and Hausa communities in the ancient city.

The backlash is also coming on the heels of accusation by the Yoruba Youth Socio-Cultural Association (YYSA), that the presidency had influenced the police investigation on the crisis.

According to Vanguard, the YYSA’s president, Habib Olalekan Hammed, said the Ile-Ife crisis was tainted with an alleged display of great tribalism.

He said: “We Yoruba youths seriously object to a one-sided arrest in a clash between two groups in this undue deployment of federal influence along fault lines. We began to suspect foul play since those who were arrested for an offence allegedly committed in Ife were being bundled up to Abuja for nothing but sheer intimidation because we don’t believe it is proper to charge anybody in Abuja for a crime allegedly committed in Ife.”

Similarly, former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, warned the police that one-sided parade of suspects was not palatable for the country.

He described the parading of one tribe as not sensible.

He said: “Things that would conflagrate this country must be avoided with a passion. Parading some people and saying they are culprits has severe tribal linkages and we cannot afford that at this point in time.

“Anything tribally oriented is not good, especially when you parade Hausa people, Igbo people, Yoruba people. We are like sitting on some keg of gunpowder. Politically, that is not wise. And I want to appeal to the IGP that parading one tribe is not sensible. People would read whatever meaning. The interpretation would go beyond the level we can control, it is not palatable because Nigeria is a heterogeneous state.”

Also, former deputy governor of Lagos state, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, said it was wrong for the police to parade suspects in any case before trial.

She faulted the parade of only Ife residence on the grounds that crisis was an altercation that involved Yorubas and Hausas.

The former governor said: “This was an altercation that involved Yorubas and Hausas, are you saying it is only the Yoruba that was involved? So I think it is very dangerous what the police did by fanning the ember of ethnic strife. They should stop it.”

Meanwhile, the federal government has said the recent clash between Hausa and Yoruba communities in Ile-Ife had no ethnic connotations.

This was the postion of the minister of Interior, General Abdulramaan Dambazau (rtd) who spoke to state house correspondents over the weekend, Leadership reports.

Dambazau had earlier visited the troubled community to get first hand information about the clash.

He appealed to the various stakeholders to eschew violence while assuring that government was handling the matter and all the culprits will be brought to book.

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