…Says northerners accuse him of insensitivity
Forty-two days after a bloody clash broke out between Hausa settlers in Ile-Ife community in Osun State and their host, the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Muhammadu Sanusi on Wednesday
paid a condolence visit to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and the northerners living in the town over the violence.
In company with senior members of the Kano Emirate Council, Emir Sanusi disclosed that some northerners were already accusing him of being insensitive to the plight of their kinsmen living in Ife since the violence erupted, hence the visit.
The Emir of Kano also said he was in Ile-Ife to formally congratulate Ooni on his enthronement.
While commending the Ooni for the roles he played in dousing the tension that the clash created, Emir Sanusi said that the relationship between the Kano Emirate and Ife Kingdom would not be severed.
He said, “I was here as a prince a couple of years ago in company with my late father, Emir Ado Bayero, during the 30th coronation anniversary of the late Ooni Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II. As a prince, I had always felt welcome in this palace and today, on arriving here, I have received the same welcome as a member of this royal family.
“It is, indeed, remarkable and we thank Allah for the way he does his things because the relationship between our two predecessors, which was critical to building bridges across the Niger and unifying the people of this country, has continued with us and I hope we will keep being agents of peace and unity for our great country.
“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.
Sanusi further said, “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 the Sultan, both of us have reached out to Ooni on a number of times and we are satisfied with the fatherly way he has so far responded to the crisis, which we see as a confirmation that he is truly the father of all in Yorubaland, irrespective of tribes and religion.
“We felt that so long as the Ooni was doing everything humanly possible to stabilize 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 has had to travel and he has asked me to represent him and all the Northern traditional rulers.
“I, on behalf of Sultan and the other Emirs, commiserate with you over the sad incident and follow up by making for the great leadership you showed during the crisis and the quick manner in which you doused the tension and the way the culprits were apprehended for justice. You 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.
Commending the state Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, for setting up a commission of enquiry to look into the matter, the Emir advised the state government to ensure that justice was done.
In his remarks, the Ooni thanked Emir Sanusi, who he described as a perfect gentleman and a courageous intellectual for the visit and expressed satisfaction with the reaction of the entire Northern leaders over the ugly incident.
“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 detribalized Nigerian, who has always shown love to members of other tribes. My love for you dates back to when you were 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 intensive conversation as regards the crisis and the need to strengthen the unity of 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,” Ooni Ogunwusi said.