Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has queried the increasing use of violence as a means of settling disputes between hitherto friendly neighbours, emphasising that violence has never been part of “our culture in Kwara state”.
Ahmed made these remarks on Wednesday at Government House, Ilorin during the swearing-in of the Judicial Commission of Enquiry into the Erin-Ile/Offa Communal Clash. He described the destruction of lives and property during the crisis as alien to the way of life and offensive to the honour of Kwara people.
The governor, who pledged that everything will be done to ensure that the violence that characterized the recent crisis never happens again in any part of the State, charged the Judicial Commission of Enquiry to identify the perpetrators of the dastardly acts and proffer solutions to the perennial dispute.
The Governor assured the people that “never again will this kind of carnage be allowed to happen in any part of the State. No more will our people live in fear because of few selfish elements who are bent on violence. We will not tolerate unlawful border disputes that result in violence and impair the welfare of our people”.
Ahmed, who affirmed the resolve of the state government to find lasting solutions to the age long dispute, charged members of the Judicial Commission to discharge their responsibilities without fear or favour in order to ensure that violent communal clashes do not re-occur in the State.
The terms of reference of the commission, according to Governor Ahmed, include the determination of the immediate and remote causes of the crisis, determination of the extent of damage to property, number of lives lost and identification of the culprits.
Other terms of reference of the commission include: review of the previous reports of committee/commission on Erin-Ile/Offa crisis, making appropriate recommendations in respect of prosecution and punishment of culprits, lost lives, properties destroyed and solutions to prevent future occurrence.
The commission, which has six weeks to complete its assignment, is headed by Justice Adeyinka Sikiru Oyinloye who thanked Gov. Ahmed and the people of the state for the trust reposed in them.