Senate on Tuesday asked the federal government to bear the cost of rebuilding the burnt houses and businesses of affected victims of the recent ethnic clash in Ile-Ife, Osun State with a view to alleviating their sufferings.
Similarly, the upper legislative chamber called on the government to pay adequate compensation to the families of the bereaved victims and the injured as a matter of utmost urgency.
Senate resolutions was sequel toa motion, “The Ethnic Clash in Ile- Ife, Osun State”, sponsored by Senator Jibrin Barau and co-sponsored by Senator Shehu Sani in which the senate also called on the Inspector General of Police to prevent a re-occurrence of such dispute in Ile Ife or anywhere else in the country.
It added that the police chief should not only conduct a thorough investigation into the remote and immediate causes of the Ile- Ife dispute; but also ensure that perpetrators are brought to book to serve a deterrent to others in the future.
Leading debate on the motion, Senator Barau, noted with dismay the recent clash/skirmishes in Ile-Ife, Osun State between the indigenes of the town and the Hausa community in a dispute said to be essentially between two persons”.
According to him, “the dispute came at a time when strenuous efforts are being made to build bridges of understanding between and among all ethnics groups in the country as a symbol of one people united under one nation”.
“Ile- Ife holds a special place in the consciousness of the Yoruba race as their ancestral home and in which other ethnic groups including the Hausa have lived and thrived for several decades, if not centuries”, he added.
He said the senate was conscious of the fact that the amity could not have been achieved if the people of Ile-Ife were not a part of a race that is very accommodating as exemplified by the fact that the immediate past Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade was the closest traditional ruler, friend and ally to the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero.
Senator Barau also noted that the present Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi since his ascension has demonstrated an uncommon zeal of symbol of unity among the diverse peoples of the country.
He, however, expressed regrets that, several people were reportedly killed and scores of houses and businesses burnt in an orgy of anger during clash, which drew the attention of the inspector General of Police and the Army high command.
In their contributions, Senators Shehu Sani; James Manager ; Babe Omoworare, Rabi’u Kwankwaso and Isiaka Adeleke, condemned the clash and urged Nigerians in every part of the country to continue to live together peacefully.
The lawmakers commended the swift action of Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, which they noted stopped the crisis from further being escalated in the town and having reprisal attacks in other parts of the country.
After serious debate on the motion,
the Deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided at the plenary, appealed to Nigerians to always defend Sections 41 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution as amended which give them freedom of association and also prevent them from any form of discrimination across the country.