Saturday, January 9, 2016 1:02 am
Following the December 2015 bloody clash between Share and Tsaragi communities over boundary dispute, Kwara state government has set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry with a view to permanently nipping the incessant crisis in the bud but Tsaragi community has rejected the Commission and has taken government to court over the action
By STEPHEN OLUFEMI ONI/Ilorin
The people of Tsaragi in Edu local government area of Kwara state, recently embroiled in a bloody clash with its neighbouring Share community in Ifelodun local government area of the state, have rejected the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, to find a lasting solution to incessant clashes between the two communities, vowing not to have anything to do with the Commission.
Addressing journalists in Ilorin, the spokesman for Tsaragi community, Dr. Abdullahi Idris, who disclosed that they have instituted an action in court to challenge the governor’s action, noted that there “had been four different Commissions/Panels on Share/Tsaragi boundary dispute since that of 1976 by Justice Mamman Nasir, while all the Reports were rejected by Share community because they didn’t favour them.”
Idris further stated that the Share communty also rejected the Report of Justice Mahmud AbdulGafar which was set up during the administration of Dr. Bukola Saraki, adding that the people of Share even challenged the White Papers in court, up to the court of appeal, but lost, both courts averring that the White Papers were duly made.
He said: “Having failed to achieve their mission through lawful means, Share community resorted to the use of force, sometimes, by invading Nupe villages with armed youths and ordering the villagers to leave or admit being part of Share District in Ifelodun local government area of Kwara state. These acts of lawlessness on the part of Share youths led to the crisis of 19th-20th December, 2015.
“The pertinent questions now are, to what extent is Governor Ahmed, who is an indigene of Share, impartial in this matter? Is it not safe to assume that Governor Ahmed is behind the current episode going by his recent actions and utterances?
“Clearly, everything points to Governor Ahmed as the stumbling block towards the resolution of the crisis. We observed at meetings attended by Tsaragi community with Governor Ahmed at Government House, Ilorin, that Governor Ahmed asked questions and provided the answers at the same time while addressing salient issues. We have also observed that the governor asserted that ‘no community owns land’ and threatening ‘land owners’ to adopt ‘give and take approach’. This cannot be the stance of a neutral governor and the Chief Security Officer of the state.
“In the light of the one-sided disposition openly displayed by Governor Ahmed, the Nupes of Tsaragi community have no reason whatsoever to participate in another inquiry, more so when the recommendations of all previous commissions/panels on the crisis which have been adopted by the government of Kwara state have not been implemented. We therefore wish to reiterate that the Nupes of Tsaragi have no confidence and trust in the institution of another Judicial Commission of Inquiry by Governor Ahmed.”
Rather than setting up another Commission of Inquiry, he posited that the state government should have set up a Commission on Reconciliation which would have been wholly embraced by the people of Tsaragi.
Reacting on behalf of the state government, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications to Governor Ahmed, Dr. Muideen Akorede, appealed to the people of Tsaragi to give the commission of inquiry the benefit of the doubt in its operations, saying the state government had been transparent and objective in the matter and that Governor Ahmed did not act as an indigene of Share community but as an individual saddled with the responsibility to ensure peace and tranquility in the state.
“There is no extra interest here. The governor intervened for peace to thrive because it is in an atmosphere of peace that we can have development. The commission of inquiry was meant to find lasting solutions to the incessant crises in the areas so that we can sustain our state as State of Harmony. It’s premature to cast aspersions or doubt on the commission. The right thing is to make feelings known at the commission of inquiry and then react after the findings of the commission, ” said Akorede.