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Offa/Erinle Crisis: AbdulRazaq Inaugurates High Powered Committee To Find Lasting Solution

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Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Monday inaugurated a high-powered committee of statesmen and diplomats to resolve the longstanding Erin-Ile and Offa crisis in the state, a process he hopes would help to  finally restore harmony between these “great communities of brothers.”

The committee is chaired by iconic former Governor Cornelius Adebayo, and peopled by statesmen, jurist, historians, academics and bureaucrats: retired Justice Saidu Salihu; Alhaji LAK Jimoh; Chief Titus Ashaolu; Senator Simeon Ajibola; Alhaji Abubakar Ndakene; Senator Mohammed Ahmed; Permanent Secretary (Political, Cabinet and Special Services) Barrister Sabitiyu Kikelomo Grillo; and Prof. Hassan Saliu (Secretary).

AbdulRazaq urged the committee to do their all to proffer lasting solutions to the perennial crisis that has claimed lives and destroyed properties for decades.

“For posterity, this Government has decided to swiftly move in another dimension to finding a lasting solution to this crisis,” AbdulRazaq said at at the inauguration of the committee in Government House Ilorin, which was attended by the retired UN special peace envoy and Chief of Staff to the President Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.

“I am indeed very grateful to the Almighty for making this day possible for us to witness and with the belief that today’s stride will bring a good turnaround to an age-long issue between Offa and Erin-Ile Communities.”

AbdulRazaq said that the recurrence of the crisis — the last of which occurred in March 2021 — is a major headache to the administration and a drawback for the economic viabilities of the two great communities.

“This is why we have carefully selected few among many that we believe are elderly and have vast knowledge in peace resolution. I therefore want to congratulate the Chairman and members of this Committee for the opportunity to serve the State in this capacity,” he said.

“I am delighted for being able to put together this very powerful committee with men of vast experience. The issue of Erin-Ile and Offa has been with us for decades with so many panels. So, let me make it clear that the government has no interest in supporting any community. You have free hands to go where the law takes you. Please work with the two communities to come up with your report.”

Chief of Staff to the President Professor Ibrahim Gambari commended the Governor for his sense of duty and the historic step to break the ice, and urged the two communities to agree to a peace deal that would further cement the sobriquet of Kwara as the state of harmony that is the bridge between the north and the south.

Gambari said a peace deal between the two communities would be the best gift anyone could give to President Muhammadu Buhari whose eyes the diplomat said would now be on the committee.

“I speak with the authorities of the President Muhammadu Buhari. I briefed him constantly on land dispute between Erin-Ile and Offa and he always stress the imperative of peace and unity. Because without peace, there can be no progress and development. No investor will invest his money in an atmosphere of confusion and chaos. The toughest conflicts are among brothers. Erin-Ile and Offa are brothers. These are communities that are part and percel of Kwara State,” he said.

“Mr President has asked me to impress upon all the stakeholders that the best present that you can give him is to let peace prevail among the two communities and in Kwara State. For me, it is a unique opportunity to be here to personally deliver the message and to really underscore the imperative of peace to our state known as the state of harmony and state of peace. We are the most northern extension of the south and the most southern extension of the north and we live in the middle of the country.

“Kwara is a natural home of peace makers, natural bridge builders. So, how can we be natural peace builders and peace makers and not have peace in our own communities? Charity must begin very much at home.

“I want to really commend His Excellency, our governor, for his tireless efforts in ensuring that peace prevails between the two communities. He briefs me all the time and I in turn brief His Excellency the President. What he has asked me is to stress the enormity of the task this committee has. Because what we want is the permanent solution to the perennial conflict which has taken so many lives and so much resources.

“I commend the chairman and members of the committee for accepting to serve on the committee. The eyes of Nigerians are on you. The eyes of Mr President are on you. I believe by God’s grace success will be yours. Because your success is the success of the two communities and the success of Kwara State.

“I have been privileged to be peace maker on behalf of the United Nations in Myanmar, Iraq, Cyprus and Zimbabwe and my last assignment was in Darfur between many communities. For me, the fundamentals are the same that there cannot be violent or military solutions to conflicts. We have to find what unites us. What unites us is greater than what divides us. We have to identify the spoilers and isolate those with personal interest so that the centre of gravity can prevail.”

C.O Adebayo, former Kwara governor and chairman of the committee, said they will do their best to make the government and the people proud.

“We commend the Governor and appreciate the presence of the Chief of Staff to the President. His presence here confirms the commitment which we very much appreciate,” he said, adding that members of the panel cannot decline such an important state assignment.

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JUST IN: Bandits Abduct Zamfara Speaker’s Father

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Suspected bandits have abducted the biological father of the Speaker of Zamfara state House of Assembly, Alhaji Nasiru Muazu Magarya.

The armed men also kidnapped the Speaker’s stepmother, uncle and four others in a raid on his community, Magarya in Zurmi Local Government Area of the state.

The speaker is representing Zurmi east in the assembly.

Salihu Zurmi, lawmaker representing Zurmi West in the state assembly, told Daily Trust that the armed men invaded the community on Wednesday evening.

“This is the fourth time they are attacking the community, the first one they killed some people while during the second assault they torched residential houses and carted away cows and other domestic animals,” he said.

The Director General, Press Affairs of the state House of Assembly Mustapha Jafaru Kaura told our correspondent that they would soon issue press statement on the matter.

“I’m right now with the Honourable Speaker, we will issue statement, give us some times please,” Mustapha said.

In the same vein, the spokesman of the state police command SP Muhammad Shehu said the command would soon issue press release.

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Ilorin South Chair Embarks On Project Inspection Tour, Assures Of Timely completion

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In fulfilment of the promise being made by the Ilorin South TIC Chairman Hon. Aiki during his last visitation to the site of the proposed shopping complex at Ero-Omo, the TIC Chairman has paid yet another inspection visit to the site of the modern shopping Complex.

While he commended the workers at the site for their steadfastness and commitment, Hon. Aiki reiterated the commitment of the Ilorin South Local Government administration towards the completion of the project.

The Chairman further stated that the right step being taken by the administration is an adoption of the good leadership model being laid down by the Governor of Kwara State, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

While the Chairman appreciated the Governor of Kwara State, Mall. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, he further encouraged the residents of the community present during the inspection exercise to continue their revamped support towards the successful administration of the Governor.

The TIC Chairman train further moved around Oko-Olowo axis as well to insect some boreholes and Modern public Toilet sites as well which came as a surprise to most of the workers. While he commended the dedication of the Oko-Olowo residents he further implored them as well to stick to their continued support for the local and state Government at large making another vow to continue his good works.

The residents of Oko-Olowo area of Ilorin South LGA commended the tremendous efforts of the TIC Chairman and wished him well in his various endeavours.

The inspection exercise shall continue across all other sites as well as stated by the Chairman.

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KOPAN Condoles With Former Minister Bolaji Abdullahi Over Mother’s Death

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Kwara Online Publishers Association of Nigeria, KOPAN has mourned the death of Alhaja Rafat Ajeigbe Abdullahi, the Mother of the Former Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi.

KOPAN in a condolence message signed by the Association Interim Chairman, Ogbeni Hammed Adedayo Said, said;

“On behalf of the members of our prestigious association, KOPAN, we sympathise with a brother and a senior colleague, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, on the demise of his beloved mother, Alhaja Rafat Ajeigbe Abdullahi.”

He further said “Please accept our sincere condolences on the death of your mother! No one can replace her but Almighty can comfort you.

May Allah repose her soul. Our deepest sympathies to you and the entire Abdulahi family!”

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