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Police Boss Ibrahim Idris Tries To Defend Arrest Of Only Yorubas In Ile-Ife Crisis

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Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), has justified the arrest of 20 suspects in connection with the crisis that broke out in Ile-Ife, Osun state, on March 8.

At least 40 were killed, while nearly 100 sustained injuries in the clash between Yoruba and Hausa traders in the Sabo area of the ancient city.

Two weeks after the incident, the police paraded 20 suspects in Abuja.

However, individuals and groups, including Afenifere, pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, accused the force of bias, wondering why only those from the Yoruba ethnic group were arrested.

Ile-Ife, Police, Afenifere
21 indigenes of Ile-Ife, including an Oba, being paraded by the Nigeria Police Force at the Force HQ in March 21, 207 over ethnic clashes in the town in Osun State | Nigeria Police Handout

But speaking with state house correspondents after a meeting President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, March 24, 2017 Idris defended the action of his men.

“‎Crime has no tribe, if you are a criminal, you are a criminal,” he said.

“Crime has no face, we don’t look at crime in the identity of where you are coming from. As far as you are a criminal and the police find you wanting, we apply the law.

“You have to look at the origin of the crisis and the immediate cause before you can make a proper classification of these crimes.

“If you follow some of these crimes, they are just crimes that happened without any warning. If you look at Ife crisis, it started in the form of a disagreement between two food sellers along the road.

“So, you have to look at the dynamics of the country itself, obviously when you have such situation we have to react to it. We had to move in to ensure we provide some security to the people.‎”

‎Idris added that he briefed the president on the deployment strategies to some of the flash points all over the country, including Benue and Kaduna.

He also made some clarifications on the attacks in Benue, explaining the role of the force.

“We deployed mobile police unit on 16th of this month after the recent incident that happened at Zaki Biam,” he said.

“There are allegations that one Gana, he has been on the police wanted list for a while now, I decided to deploy some special units to fish him out by all means. We will definitely going to get him.”

On the allegations that herdsmen were behind the violence in the area, he said, ‎”No I don’t think it’s Fulani herdsmen, it was an activity of a criminal who is using some of his criminal gangs in the state to harass people, that I have assured the governor when I met with him few days ago.” (NAN)

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