Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has set up a five-man commission of enquiry to unravel the remote and immediate causes of the bloody crisis that ravaged the ancient city of Ile-ife on March 8, 2017.
The Commission was given four weeks to complete its job and members include: Justice M.A Adeigbe who is the chairman, Mrs Bose Dawodu DCP (rtd), Barrister Ismail Ajibade, the State Commissioner of Police, the State Director of DSS and Mr Bisi Babalola, who will act as the secretary.
Aregbesola urged the commission to investigate and determine the true cause of the mayhem and identify the persons behind it, and their level of involvement.
The commission was also charged to recommend appropriate civil or criminal actions to be taken against the perpetrators.
According to him, there were reports that small arms and light weapons were deployed freely during the crisis, a fact which he described as disturbing and frightening.
“It has implication for security of lives and property and the potential for more conflicts beyond the immediate theatre of war, if not nipped in the bud.
“I want you to look into this. The sources and the current location of these arms and their custodians should be investigated and determined. They should all be recovered.
“There are also reports that cultists who have no regard for human lives were recruited into the mayhem for a fee. This is most disheartening. Please investigate this and unearth the roles they played and let the law be applied without fear or favour.
“I charge this commission to be courageous and fearless. Undertake this assignment with all seriousness and the fear of God. You should pursue the truth and not fear where it will lead to.
“We want justice for all, like Martin Luther King Jr, once said: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream”, to the victims and the perpetrators alike, as I wish you success on this crucial assignment,” Aregbesola said.
The governor also cautioned residents of the state not to pre-empt the outcome of the enquiry, noting that it would be prejudicial to the efforts of the law enforcement agencies.
He further stated that it was unwise and wicked for anybody to describe the violence in the Sabo area of Ile-Ife as a religious or tribal war.
“The police and other law enforcement agencies have assured all that the rule of law would be strictly adhered to and would be allowed to prevail. We owe them support and the need for patience until the final outcome, since investigation into the matter continues.
“In the light of the ongoing investigation, therefore, we do not want to pre-empt the outcome by making statements prejudicial to the efforts of the law enforcement agencies.
“However, we have no doubt that this is not an inter-ethnic, inter religious or inter regional conflict by any stretch of the imagination. It was just an ugly development, a breach of public peace, masterminded by hoodlums and criminals resulting to loss of lives and property.
“We should all therefore disabuse our minds of ethnic bias by denying the narrative of inter-ethnic conflict between the Yoruba and Hausa community in Ile Ife, because it was not.
“It is the duty of government to guarantee the welfare and security of all people in its area of jurisdiction. This we shall do to the best of our ability and with all the resources at our disposal, without fear or favour,” Aregbesola maintained.