MURIC suggests dialogue to avert tribal clashes in Ondo, Oyo
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called on the Federal Government to constitute a dialogue committee that would be saddled with responsibility of averting the looming tribal clashes between Fulani and Yoruba, particularly in Ondo and Oyo states.
The group explained that the dialogue had become an inescapable option to avert the possible ethic crisis, adding that it was pertinet that the apex and concerned state governments wade into the matter and apply caution in handling the fragile situation.
MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said that the different quit notice beng issued to particular ethnic groups in the South west was a pointer to the looming danger which must be addressed adequately before it degenerated to free-for-all violence.
Through a statement released to newsmen on Sunday in Lagos, Akintola urged the central government to consult widely with elders from all the states of the federation concerning the issue with a view to finding a comprehensive solution.
According to him, a tribal activist who gave quit notice to non-indigenes in Igangan, Oke Ogun area of Oyo State, allegedly led indigenes of the area to attack the latter on Jan. 22.
Continuing, he said that “the incident allegedly resulted in the destruction of houses and vehicles. The Igangan incident must be condemned by all lovers of peace.
“At the same time, we cannot close our eyes to the pain and suffering of farmers and indigenes of the area that criminals regard as soft targets for kidnapping, armed robbery.
“It is crystal clear that it is not a religion matter though some have been misled into labelling it as such. Our focus must be the criminals, not any tribe,’’ he said.
“Federal Government should also seek advice from other African countries where the same crisis has been on the front burner at one time or the other since this conflict is not restricted to Nigeria alone.
“To douse tension immediately, both the Federal Government and the Oyo State government should undertake to speedily and adequately compensate victims of the latest conflict in Igangan, Oyo State.
“MURIC’s avowed motto is: `Dialogue, Not Violence’. We, therefore, advocate wide-scale dialogue in the present circumstances,’’ the statement said.