Akeredolu visits Ibadan, appeals to warring parties to embrace peace
The Chairman of Southwest Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, Rotimi Akeredolu, visited the Shasha area of Ibadan on Sunday to appeal to the warring parties to sheathe their swords and embrace peace and dialogue.
Akeredolu, who doubles as the Governor of Ondo State, made the trip down to Oyo State amid the tension pervading the pacesetter state following the clash between Hausa and Yoruba communities on Fridays which reportedly left some casualties in its trail with some property destroyed and some residents displaced.
The Ondo State governor, who was led to the Shasha market by his host and Oyo State counterpart, Governor Seyi Makinde, pleaded with elders in the area to call the youths to order as efforts were being intensified by government to find lasting solution to the avoidable violence which occurred last Friday.
In a statement by Olabode Olatunde, the Special Assistant to the Ondo State governor on New Media, Akeredolu noted that the tension and charged atmosphere would not profit anyone.
He also asked the people to consider the past and the peaceful coexistence that they have enjoyed over several decades.
Akeredolu was quoted as saying,
“I have come here on behalf of my colleagues in Ekiti, Lagos, Osun and Ogun. All of them have sent messages. Ogun has its own crisis it is battling with, so does Lagos. But as the chairman, I decided to come around to appeal to us.
“We have come to plead with you that no matter how angry, we should not react violently. I know many things may get us angry, but as we know, we have been living together for long.
“Let us think about the past, let us consider our peaceful coexistence in the past. Let us be calm.
“I have come on behalf of all southwest Governors, I beg you to be calm.
“Let us not take laws into our hands. The police are here and they are ready to work now. Amotekun officers are here for you. I’m not saying that for us as Governors that we are perfect or the police are perfect. But we can’t take laws into our hands. Let us cooperate with our Governor, Seyi Makinde.”
Speaking in a similar vein while addressing the people, Governor Makinde promised to rebuild destroyed property.
He said, “Please, I want you to listen to me clearly. You cannot resort to self-help to solve the issue on the ground. All of you who are here are doing business with one another in one way or the other.
“The last time I came here, about six weeks ago, some shops belonging to Hausa and Yoruba people got burnt. So, you have been living together peacefully and all I am pleading to you is, no matter what is making anyone angry, we will solve it with patience.
“I was reluctant to declare curfew here because I feel the economic well being of everyone here is important, and because this is where you get what you use to feed yourselves. I will engage with your leaders this evening.
“One thing is, if you allow those who don’t have anything to lose here to blow this matter out of proportion, no one will be able to say where the crisis will end. By the grace of God, I pray we don’t lose any more lives.”