The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has warned that he will not hesitate to sanction any traditional ruler or constituted authority who is found to contribute to outbreak of violent conflict in the state.
The governor gave the warning when he inaugurated a seven-member Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Iloffa/Odo-Owa communal clash at Government House, Ilorin.
A statement released Wednesday by Wahab Oba, the governor’s spokesperson, quoted the governor as saying that Kwara has sustained its reputation as a state of harmony for years despite multiplicity of people and cultures and would not allow avoidable communal strive to tarnish the image.
The governor said the event that led to the communal clashes could have been prevented through proactive measures by the leadership of the respective communities.
According to him, “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 government swore to protect the welfare and security of citizens, we cannot allow this avoidable loss to continue”.
He admonished the commission to handle their assignment with dispatch and objectivity and report back to government within one month with the hope that their report will provide guidance on how to minimise if not eradicate the occurrence in the state.
Earlier, the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Isiaka Gold, noted that the state had just celebrated 50th anniversary of peaceful co-existence and harmonious relationship; saying war and crisis cannot be part of portion in the state.
He said government took a decisive step to forestall escalation of the crisis in order to restore law and order in the community and uphold security of lives and property.
In his vote of thanks, the Chairman of the Commission, Sulaiman Kawu, who is the Chief Judge of the State, promised to abide by the oath, terms of reference and the stipulated time.
Other members include Ndanusa Yahaya, Emir of Shonga; Funsho Lawal, Solicitor General/Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice; Taiye Oniyide, professional arbitrator, Bayo Ojo & Co; Representatives of Commissioner of Police and SSS; while David Adesina, Permanent Secretary, Political, Cabinet and Special Services, Governor’s Office serves as Secretary.