31 January 2013

Nigeria: Clashes - 24-Hour Curfew Imposed On Offa/Erinle

Ilorin — Following the resurgence of hostilities between Offa and Erinle communities in Offa and Oyun Local Government Areas of Kwara State, the government yesterday imposed a 24-hour curfew with immediate effect.

The curfew "is to restore public order in both communities following recent disturbances," a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, said.

Both communities have been at logger heads for over two decades over ownership of a piece of land. And on Monday, the relative peace that was been enjoyed in the towns was disrupted following an argument between two indigenes of the communities.

Our correspondent reports that the argument which was over a minor car incident degenerated into a clash, where about 10 people died. The police, however, claimed no live was lost in the renewed communal strife, adding that they have reinforced security in the towns to contain the crisis.

Many indigenes of the two communities have been forced indoors just as the authorities of the Federal Polytechnic Offa have ordered indefinite closure of the institution.

Following the 24-hour curfew, the state government has barred all human and vehicular movements within the two towns and warned that, "security agencies will deal decisively with anyone found contravening the curfew."

The statement added, "Furthermore, 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 property, the Kwara State government is determined to identify and prosecute those behind the recent crisis in both communities."

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