By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has warned that he would not hesitate to sanction any traditional ruler or constituted authority found to contribute to outbreak of conflict among communities in the State.
Governor Ahmed gave the warning on Wednesday when he inaugurated a seven-man Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Iloffa/Odo-Owa communal clash at Government House, Ilorin.
He said the state has sustained its reputation as a State of Harmony for years despite multiplicity of people and cultures and would not allow avoidable communal strive jeopardise the welfare of citizens or tarnish the state’s image.
The governor said previous conflicts have demonstrated that communal clashes in the state could have been prevented through proactive measures by the leadership of the respective communities.
He said: “It is indeed worrying that the clash brought in its trail wanton destruction of lives and property as if the conflict was planned and rehearsed. As a government sworn to protect the welfare and security of citizens, we cannot allow this avoidable loss to continue.”
He admonished the Commission members to handle their assignment with dispatch and objectivity and report back to government within one month with the hope that their report would provide guidance on how to minimise if not eradicate the occurrence in the state.
Earlier, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Isiaka Gold, had noted that the state had just celebrated 50th anniversary of peaceful co-existence and harmonious relationship saying war and crisis do not fit into the future envisaged by the state.
He said government took a decisive step of imposing a curfew on the two communities to forestall escalation of the crisis and restore law and order.
In his response the Chairman of the Commission, Hon. Justice Sulaiman Durosinlohun Kawu, who is also the Chief Judge of the State, promised to abide by the oath, terms of reference and the stipulated time.
Other members include: HRH, Alhaji (Dr) Ndanusa Haliru Yahaya, Emir of Shonga; Mrs Funsho Dada Lawal, Solicitor General/Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice; Barrister Taiye Oniyide, Professioal arbitrator, Bayo Ojo & Co; Representatives of Commissioner of Police and Department of State Security while Elder David Adesina, Permanent Secretary, Political, Cabinet and Special Services, Governor’s Office serves as Secretary.