The judicial commission of inquiry set up by the Osun State Government on the Ife crisis on Thursday commenced its work, moving to the scene of the mayhem to interview victims and residents in the area.
Before then, it paid a courtesy visit to the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, to acquaint him of its assignment.
Mr. Ogunwusi urged the panel to be neutral in carrying out the task of determining what happened during the March 8 clash.
The Justice Moshood Adeigbe-led commission was inaugurated by Governor Rauf Aregbesola, following calls by interest groups and the rejection of the investigation done by the Nigerian Police Force.
The panel was charged to unravel the causes of the crisis and proffer ways to forestall future occurrence.
Mr. Ogunwusi also appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience, noting that people of different tribes or religions should live together peacefully in the country.
According to him, he had conferred with other traditional rulers in the north such as the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, and the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido, as well as other leaders across the country in order to ensure the continuous peaceful coexistence of all Nigerians.
“So far, so good. We have not seen any reprisal attack any where. We are one Nigeria irrespective of where we choose to live and I pray we will not witness this kind of tragic event again,” he said.
“Please, be neutral in order to get to the bottom of what triggered this unfortunate incident.
“The crisis happens at the source of the Yoruba race but we thank God for his prompt intervention.”
The chairman of the panel, M. Adeigbe, a judge, said they had no opinion than to get to the root of the matter.
According to Mr. Adeigbe, the panel would sit in Ife to make itself accessible to the victims and others who would want to testify before it.
Some of those who spoke to the commission said the crisis started on March 7, and became full blown the following day as attacks and reprisals followed.
They said the tragic clash could have been prevented if the police and other security agencies had not responded poorly to the situation.