The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi Lamido, on Wednesday explained the reason for having not spoken on the crisis that rocked Ile-Ife in Osun State recently.
No fewer than 46 persons died in the clash, which was between the Yoruba and Hausa communities.
Speaking on Wednesday during a visit to the scene of the March 8 clash in Sabo area of Ile-Ife, where he lauded the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, for the fatherly role he played during fight, Sanusi said he had reached out alongside the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, to the Ooni on the incident.
He equally said he and the Sultan also opted not to speak on the issue because Oba Ogunwusi’s response to the crisis was sufficient.
He said: “My visit here today is a happy and sad one. It is a happy one because it is an opportunity for me to come and formally congratulate you on your enthronement and it is a sad one because it is in connection with the sad incident that occurred at Ile-Ife recently.
“I know many people from the North have been complaining that I have been quiet on this matter. Let me say that the moment this sad incident happened, His Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, reached out to me and sultan; both of us have reached out to the Ooni a number of times and we are satisfied with the fatherly way he has, so far, responded to the crisis.
“We see the role he played as a confirmation that he is truly the father of all in Yoruba land, irrespective of tribes and religion, and we felt that so long the Ooni was doing everything humanly possible to stabilise the situation, there was no need for anyone of us to make any statement that could worsen the situation.
“Let me also add that I was to be here with the sultan but he travelled and he has asked me to represent him and all the northern traditional rulers.
“You (the Ooni) showed, indeed, that everyone in Ife is your subject, which is the way it should be. The family we come from and the institution we represent are institutions that take responsibility for protecting the lives, property and dignity of our people living within their jurisdiction, irrespective of where they are from. We thank you for playing that role.”
Sanusi equally commended the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, who has since set up a commission of enquiry to look into the cause of the crisis and recommend how to avoid a recurrence.
Oba Ogunwusi commended Emir Sanusi for his maturity.
He described him as a detribalised monarch and a courageous leader, who spoke in defence of the masses.
Ogunwusi said: “When you are talking of intellectuals in Africa, Emir Sanusi is actually a force to reckon with. I have always had tremendous respect for him. Thank you, your highness, for this historic visit. You are a detribalised Nigerian, who has always shown love to members of other tribes. My love for you dates back to when you were the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria – as your courage of calling a spade, a spade actually drew my attention to you.
“You and I met in the UK and we had an intensive conversation as regards the crisis and the need to strengthen the unity among all Nigerians. That meeting played a significant role in finally dousing the tension. You are, indeed, part of us in Ile Oodua and we are also part of the Kano Emirate. Our prayer, therefore, is that our relationship will continue to wax stronger.”
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