31 January 2013

Nigeria: Kwara Imposes 24-Hour Curfew On Offa, Erin-Ile

Following the renewed hostilities which ensued between the people of Offa and Erin-Ile communities in Kwara State, the state government yesterday imposed a 24-hour curfew in the two communities with immediate effect.

Also Wednesday, sporadic gunshots had continued to rent the air in the affected areas, while some residents of Offa, who lived close to Erin-Ile have relocated to the main town of Offa.

THISDAY investigations revealed that some vehicles parked in front of the national secretariat of Offa Descendants Union (ODU) were burnt, while the vehicular movement between the two towns had been suspended by the commercial operators plying the roads leading to Osun State.

However, a Government House statement issued in Ilorin yesterday and signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Isiaka Gold, announced imposition of 24 hour curfew in the two warring towns of Offa and Erin-Ile with immediate effect.

The statement said: "The curfew is to restore public order in both communities following recent disturbances. All human and vehicular movement is hereby barred in Offa and Erin-Ile. In line with this order as the security agencies will deal decisively with any found contravening the curfew."

Gold also said: "The state government will bring the full weight of the law to bear on anyone who disrupts public order or otherwise incites violence in any part of the state under any guise."

While assuring law-abiding citizens of its resolve to secure lives and properties, the state government, said: "it is determined to identify and prosecute those behind the recent crises in both communities."

Also speaking with journalists in Ilorin yesterday, one of the high chiefs of Offa, Ojomu of Offa, Chief Ayo Akinola, called on the federal and state government to rise up to the situation.

Akinola who was in Ilorin to represent Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi, at the International workshop on Agriculture organised by the state government in collaboration with Vanguard Media, Lagos, said the national and state boundary commission should come out and do justice to the disputed area so as to put an end to the protracted crisis between the two towns of Offa and Erin-Ile.

He added that "we (Offa) are for peace and will ready to abide with the final justice on the matter so as to move the state forward."

Meanwhile, THISDAY learnt that students of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa were ordered to proceed on two weeks compulsory holiday.

The two warring towns on Monday renewed their hostilities that had claimed the lives of about 10 people while properties worth several millions were destroyed.

The state police command had deployed about 40 riot policemen to maintain law and order in the two warring towns.

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