The leadership of the Igbo community in Akure, Ondo State, on Friday swallowed its pride and begged for pardon from the Deji of Akure, Aladetoyinbo Adelusi, following two weeks of hostilities between the Igbo community and the palace.
The Deji had vowed to obliterate the position of the Eze Ndigbo of Akure, after the title holder, Gregory Iloehika, allegedly insulted the traditional ruler.
Mr. Iloehika, was accused of rude behaviour at the Deji’s palace, an action which angered the Chiefs and resulted in a war of wits between the palace chiefs and Igbo traders.
The crisis had started two weeks ago with the leadership tussle between Igbos and Yorubas at the Mojere Market in Akure, but became widespread after the interventionfrom the Deji’s palace were resisted by the Igbo traders.
Mr. Iloehika was said to have made uncomplimentary remarks against the Deji in Council, and was immediately walked out of the palace by the Chiefs.
Viewing the action as an insult to the traditional stool, the Deji ordered the closure of the shops of the Igbo traders as well as the business premises of Mr. Iloehika along Cathedral Road in the heart of the city.
His position as Eze Ndigbo was also nullified, with a declaration that he should no longer parade himself as the leader of the Igbo community in Akure.
The Igbo community also responded by closing their shops in strategic markets in solidarity with their leader, causing some hardship in the town.
The spare parts markets were almost grounded and vehicles owners and mechanics had problems getting parts for vehicles needing repairs.
The intervention of the Ondo State Government to resolve the matter culminated in Friday’s peace meeting between the palace and the Igbo community.
Led by the President of the Ohaeneze Ndigbo, Ondo State, Okechukwu Okorie, the Chief of Staff to the state governor, Kola Ademujimi, Mr. Oloehika and other members of the Igbo community prostrated before the monarch, seeking his forgiveness.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, one Mr, Anoliefo said the Igbo people had found Akure a hospitable place in the last 100 years.
He urged the Deji to forgive their errors, promising that such action would not repeat itself in the future.
Also speaking, Mr. Ademujimi appealed to the Deji, Oba to forgive all the wrongdoings of his Igbo brothers, saying there would be no meaningful development in an atmosphere of rancour.
Responding, Oba Aladetoyinbo said he had pardoned the offenders, promising that their shops at the markets would be opened on Saturday.
Oba Aladetoyinbo thanked Governor Mimiko for his intervention as well as Akure youths for their peaceful disposition all through the crisis.
He however said the position of the disputed Eze Ndigbo would be considered at the council of Obas which would hold next week.
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