The Yeyeluwa (queen) of Ife, Wuraola Ogunwusi, has called for the return of brotherly love between the Yoruba and Arewa communities which existed before the recent communal dispute in Ile-Ife.
The queen made the call when she visited the communities in Enuwa and Sabo, Ile-Ife, Osun, on Thursday to commiserate with them on the recent clash in which some persons died and properties were destroyed.
At Enuwa, Wuraola was received by the committee that the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, set up to look into the crisis.
‘’Peace is sacrosanct and we should pursue it with all we have because violence has nothing to be gained from rather, it will destroy what has been laboured to achieve,” she said.
Wuraola commended the committee for the work it had done.
“I am impressed with what you have done so far since His Imperial Majesty set up this committee as you daily gave Kabiyesi (king) report even when he was in United Kingdom promoting African tradition and culture.
“Ile-Ife is the source and you have shown that to the entire world that peace is what we need,” he said.
At Sabo, the queen was received by the Arewa community led by Alhaji Malami Nasidi.
She said, ‘’I am here formally to commiserate with you on the incident that happened and I pray that may never happen again. “We are all one and should live as such. ‘’You are established here and this is the only place you know as home.
‘’Please, let us forget the past and move on.
“Those who went with the sad event cannot be brought back but our prayer is that God should be with all they left behind as we cannot quench fire with fire, peace is the only way forward.
“I was touched by the incident and took it upon myself that I must be here personally on behalf of the palace to commiserate with you on the unfortunate incident.”
Nasidi, who responded on behalf of the Arewa community, said: “we have been here for several decades and cannot even fathom why a very minor incident escalated to this magnitude.”
He expressed appreciation to the queen for the visit and prayed for long life for her and Ooni Ogunwusi. Meanwhile, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons has donated food items to the communities.
The National Commissioner, Hajia Sadiya Farouq, represented by the South-West Zonal Coordinator, Mrs Margaret Ukaegbu, warned against the diversion of the items.
“We are brothers and sisters, therefore we cannot afford to be divided. She appealed to the communities to forget what had happened, but to look for a way forward and allow peace to reign.
Farouq called on Nigeria to dialogue within each other and pass their grievances to appropriate quarters rather than destroy lives and properties.
” We believe in one Nigeria and we believe in peace. What are we fighting for? ‘’United we stand and divided we fall.
“Without peace, no progress and without progress, Nigeria cannot grow and with that, we cannot develop nor achieve any success,’’ she said.
The commission donated bags of rice, beans, salt and sugar as well as palm-oil and vegetable oil to the communities.