Osun State Police Command says necessary steps have been taken to douse the tension generated by tribal clashes that has claimed the lives of more than five people and properties worth millions of Naira destroyed.
This is as the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi ordered the release of about 300 Northerners who were held hostage by the indigenes, insisting that none of them must be harmed.
The acting Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Muhammed Abubakar Koji, speaking through the Police Public Relation Officer, (PPRO) SP Folasade Odoro said mobile policemen have been deployed to Ile-Ife.
Other security personnel from the Army and the police and the men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps have also been deployed to restore peace to the area with more Armoured Personnel Carrier deployed.
Speaking through his spokesman, Moses Olafare, the Ooni appealed to all residents to be law abiding and tolerate one another. He also promised that no stone would be left unturned to ensure the return of peace to the town.
He also urged the traders to go about their normal business.
Reports said the crisis started on Tuesday night when a rift broke out between a Hausa man and a Yoruba woman, leaving five people dead and properties worth millions of Naira destroyed.
Some touts were seen destroying goods belonging to the Hausa traders at Lageere in retaliation to the havoc done around the Sabo market.
People scampered for safety as palpable tension enveloped the ancient town of Ile-Ife when touts clashed with some Northerners around Lagere, Sabo and Obalufon areas of the town.
While a report said the crisis was ignited by an alleged snatching of a Yoruba wife by an Hausa merchant, another says it started with slapping of a Yoruba woman by an Hausa trader in the market.
The Senior Special Assistant to Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola on Arewa Matter, Imam Muhammed Bashir said the situation has taken a very dangerous dimension and called on security agencies to intervene.
The SSA said the situation has escalated beyond the capacity of the Divisional Police Station and called on the Commissioner of Police to deploy more policemen from Osogbo, the state capital.
While blaming the police for not doing enough, Bashir called on the State Governor, the Commissioner of Police well as the Director of the Department of State Security Service to be proactive.
According to him, no fewer than ten individuals, including children had been lost to the crisis with several houses burnt and property worth millions of Naira destroyed.
By our correspondent