by Adebayo Hassan
Sabo, a Hausa community in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital, was attacked on Wednesday allegedly by members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, allegedly acting on the instruction of the Peoples Democratic Party-led government in the State.
The violence was a culmination of previous acts of harassment of the Hausas, the head of the Hausa community, Sarkin Adamu, said.
While the attackers were on rampage, shops belonging to the Hausas were destroyed, burnt or looted, a witnesses said.
Mr. Adamu told PREMIUM TIMES his office was also looted.
“When the violence started, I called the police, State Security Service and the traditional ruler of the town, Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, making three authorities,” Mr. Adamu said. “However, it did not stop. It was even when the police came that the situation became worse.
“Although I was told the police arrested a gun-wielding man, I myself can’t tell you I am sure the police arrested anybody.”
Meanwhile, the attack may not be unconnected with politics
“Since after the March 28 presidential election where we voted for (President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari), we have been victims of harassment,” Mr. Adamu said.
“In fact, during the April 11 election, they stood against Hausas voting. They were saying after all it was APC we would vote for. However some of our people insisted they must vote. At least, we have rights anywhere in this country.”
Reacting to the incident, Lere Olayinka, the media aide to the state Governor, Ayo Fayose, said the governor visited the Hausa community at Sabo immediately he arrived from Abuja.
Mr. Olayinka said the governor thanked them for their patience and assured them that no one, irrespective of his or her tribe had the right to disturb the peace of another.
He dismissed the allegation that the violence was masterminded by the PDP-led government.
“That is the most stupid and senseless allegation for anyone to make,” Mr. Olayinka said.
“Apart from the teachers, civil servants and local government workers, Governor Fayose’s biggest supporters in the state are the Hausas. There are even Hausas in the Ward Exco of the PDP in Ado Ekiti.
“And can it also be said that in the northern states where non indigenes were attacked in the past, the state governors were masterminds of the attacks?
“So when Hausas were attacked in Mile 12, Lagos in 2000, was the then Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu the mastermind of the attack? When over 70 Hausas were killed in Oke Ogun area of Oyo State in 2003, was the governor then, late Alhaji Lam Adesina th mastermind the killing?
“These APC people are just too evil minded. They don’t mind destroying the State the moment they lose power. They are like the Biblical harlot that preferred that her colleague’s child be sliced into two just because she lost her own child.”
Mr. Olayinka said Mr. Fayose wondered why some people would embark on acts of destruction at this period when all hands are supposed to be on deck to conquer kidnapping in the state.
The governor promised to thoroughly investigate the crisis and make sure the guilty are made to face wrath of the law, he added.
He, however, did not deny that the attack was perpetrated by the members of the road transport workers.
Mr. Fayose enjoys massive support from the transport workers.
In the heat of his impeachment saga by the 19 APC lawmakers in the state assembly, Mr. Fayose had made a public statement, calling on transport workers to defend “our mandate.”
Subsequently, the leadership of the union urged its members to ensure the APC lawmakers were stopped from impeaching Mr. Fayose or even gaining access into the state House of Assembly.