Niger Republic lauds Aregbesola's swift response to Ife Violence

By Semiu Okanlawon
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The Niger Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Mansour Hajj Daddo, has commended the swift intervention by the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in quelling the recent crisis which ensued at Sabo Ile-Ife.

Ambassador Daddo stated this through an envoy who paid a condolence visit to the Governor in Osogbo on Monday.

Speaking through the envoy which was led by Alhaji Saley Idrissa, the ambassador also commended the immediate assistance rendered to people who were affected by the fracas.

He said the actions of the governor will go a long way in assuring members of the Hausa community in Ile-Ife and other towns in Osun that the state is fully behind them and wants to continue to be the caring host which they have been over the years.

According to him "the Niger Ambassador to Nigeria has decided to send an envoy to Osun as a result of the ugly incident which occurred at Ife and to commend and appreciate the swift intervention of the Governor in the crisis.

"We really thank God that the state is blessed with a proactive governor like you at this time. We thank God that you are around at this time and your being around was actually felt.

"We have been briefed of your various forms of assistance by our people we saw. Your actions have reassured us of the fact that the people of this state are really accommodating and are still ready to continue to leave in peace and harmony with our people.”

The ambassador, who said that he was convinced that the fracas must have been aggravated by miscreants, stressed that the actions of the governor has gone a long way to reassure him that the perpetrators of the dastardly act won't go unpunished.

He said his knowledge of the Yorubas over the years doesn't portray them as hostile people.

"I am particularly touched by the testimonies of our people whom we have spoken to about the actions of Mr. Governor since this incident happened. The Governor has to huge extent, displayed a fatherly role in the matter through the various relief inputs he has made.

"The people of Niger Republic through the Ambassador are using this opportunity to thank Mr. Governor for coming to the aid of our people in this time of anguish and need." he said.

In his response, Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said the state as a whole is highly touched and disappointed by the incident.

He said the world should not view what happened in Ile-Ife as a communal clash between the Hausas and Yorubas but a situation which hoodlums and miscreants took the opportunity of a simple altercation to wreck havoc on innocent residents of Sabo area in Ile-Ife.

The Governor said the harmonious relationship of the Hausas and Yorubas dates back years while expressing disappointment that the event of last week occurred.

Governor Aregbesola, who expressed optimism that such occurence will never happen again said the experience will enable the state to develop a more robust capacity to nip similar cases in the bud.

He said, "I want to assure Nigerians that the State of Osun still remains the most peaceful and loving state in Nigeria. What happened last week at Ife was just the handiwork of some disoriented elements who took advantage of a minor argument to wreck havoc.

"We are pained because we know that this is not what the Yorubas are. Apart from the fact that the Yorubas are a peace loving set of people, they have been living peacefully with the Hausas at Sabo, Ile-Ife for ages without rancour.

"I want to assure you that the perpetrators of the devilish act will be apprehended, prosecuted and brought to justice as our government will not condone any form of lawlessness in our environment.

"I also want to use this medium to commend the efforts of our security operatives who were swift in responding to the distress call. Their actions really went a long way in curtailing the violence."