The resident of Ilorin is currently gripped with fear as well as the entire Kwara State over the heavy influx of suspected herdsmen into the state.
The fear, based on findings, has now been heightened with the relocation of the sacked Sarkin Fulani of Igangan, Salihu Abdulkadir to Ilorin, the capital of Kwara state.
Recall that Salihu Abdulkadir was sent packing with his family from Igangan in Ibarapa Local Government Area of Oyo State following a seven-day ultimatum issued by Sunday Igboho over alleged kidnapping, killings, and other criminal acts in the town.
On Thursday, Salihu Abdulkadir announced his relocation to Ilorin at a press conference, where he indicted the Oyo police command of conniving with the people of Igangan to make him a scapegoat.
“Given the conspiracy by the police with the natives of Igangan, I and my people, will not feel comfortable returning to Igangan,” he told newsmen at the press conference.
According to our Correspondent observations, the relocation of the Sarkin Fulani to Ilorin the capital city of Kwara, has, however, triggered concern and fear about the safety of lives and property among residents, considering the serious allegations against Salihu Abdulkadir and his family.
Few days after the eviction of the Salihu Abdulkadir Fulani, the Kwara State Coordinator of Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, New Era, Comrade Bayo Fabiyi, raised the alarm over the suspicious influx of suspected herdsmen into the state.
In a chat with DAILY POST on Friday in Ilorin the state capital, Bayo Fabiyi described as “unacceptable the decision of the Sarkin Abdulkadir Fulani to seek asylum in Ilorin the capital of Kwara state.”
Fabiyi challenged Sarkin Fulani to prove his claim that he is a native of the Asa Local Government Area of the state, saying, ” He is a liar.”
Fabiyi further, disclosed that ” The Sarkin Fulani and his men chased away from Igangan and other areas in Oyo State, have found their way to Kwara” as he reliably gathered.
The OPC coordinator revealed that on Wednesday, nine trailer loads of Fulani herdsmen and cattle were chased back from Esie, in the Irepodun Local Government of the State by local hunters.
“Settlements like Esie, Arandun, Omido, Agbamu, Oro-Ago, Amori, Oke-Ode, Buari, Igbaja, up to Share area have been overwhelmed by the influx of these herders with most of them carrying arms, making it dangerous and suspicious,” he added.
Fabiyi stressed that there is a need for Kogi and Kwara States to collaborate in the bid to chase the Fulani herdsmen away to avoid the future situation of managing a crisis instead of stopping it now that it is still fresh.
Fabiyi gave an intelligent report given to him by his men stationed across the state, about the suspicious movements of cattle herders into some Yoruba speaking areas of the state and have virtually outnumbered the inhabitants.
Toyin Awe, a resident of Ilorin, who is also a teacher, condemned the relocation of the Fulani herdsmen led by the Sarkin Fulani and prayed to God to protect residents.
Toyin Awe, described their presence as very dangerous, arguing that they should not be allowed to stay because “they are brutal and kill at will.”
Toyin Awe also called on the State government and security agencies to be at alert and send Fulani Herdsmen out of Kwara State.
Dr. Abdulsalam Bolakale Suleiman, a security expert, warned that ” Igangan issue, if not curbed in good time, its escalation could consume the country.”
Dr. Abdulsalam Bolakale Suleiman said, “Factors responsible are located around the institutional weakness of local, state, and federal governments as regards absence of a review of security situations via security committee and council meetings.”
Abdulsalam, said,” Whereas we need to prepare for war during peacetime, there is the need for constant review of the environment to avoid elements of surprise.”
Shola Mose, a public affair analyst who spoke with our correspondent, described the development as worrisome, saying, he has warned the state government authorities and the police not to fold their arms under the impression that Kwara remains a state of harmony.
“Kwara is within the frontiers of the turbulent neighboring states, so we have to prepare for any eventuality, our silence could allow their crisis to spill over to our state.”
Olasunkanmi Ayeni, the spokesman of the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps, Kwara State command, in a reaction, said “security agencies are on top of the security situation in the state.”
Olasunkanmi described the security situation in the state as calm, adding that, “the security architecture in the state and the efforts of the state government puts us ahead of them, we are not sleeping at all.
“We are manning all entry points into Kwara State to ensure that we don’t have an unnecessary influx of suspected killer herdsmen to forestall any likely crisis,” he stated.
Also commenting on the development, a top government security officer, who requested anonymity, said ” the government is equal to the task of protecting the lives and properties of the citizens” adding that ” there is no cause for alarm.”
Mr. Okasanmi Ajayi, the spokesman of the state police command, in his own reaction, said ” The command is firmly on the ground to avert any security threat.
“The Kwara State police commissioner, Lawal Mohammed Bagega, last week, held an emergency security meeting with Area commanders, divisional police officers, and heads of tactical units in the command on the need to ensure there is no security breach.
“On anxiety of strange faces in parts of the state, the command is monitoring the situation, no efforts would be spared to ensure Kwara remains safe.
“Meanwhile, the command is in constant touch with the relevant stakeholders in this regards,” the spokesman added
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