Inter-Communal Clash: Kwara Governor Denies Taking Sides

Abdulfatah Ahmed2Against the backdrop of allegations by the warring people of Tsaragi in Kwara State that Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has taken side with his town people of Share over the renewed communal clash that had claimed many lives and property, the governor has described the allegation as shocking, unfair and inappropriate representation of what transpired in the recent peace meeting convoked by the state government.

The Tsaragi community had at a press conference in Ilorin, the state capital last Friday, accused the governor of taking sides with his town people of Share.

Speaking at the press conference, the spokesperson of the people of Tsaragi community, Dr. Abdullahi Idris said: “It is not safe to assume that Governor Ahmed is behind the current episode going by his recent actions and utterances and thereby there is no doubt that the new commission of inquiry will be partial”.

The Tsaragi community said from all indications, Governor Ahmed is a stumbling block towards an amicable resolution of the crisis.

They said at meetings attended at Government House, Ilorin, Governor Ahmed asked questions and provided the answers at the same time while addressing salient issues.

“We have also observed that Governor Ahmed asserted that no community owns land and threatening land owners to adopt give and take approach. This cannot be stands of a neutral governor and chief security officer of the state”, Dr. Idris said.

But Governor Ahmed in a counter press statement issued by his ‎Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, denied the claims by the angry people of Tsaragi coommunity.

According to the statement, “it has come to the notice of the Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed that the people of Tsaragi in Edu Local Government Area of the State have, at a Press Conference alleged that the he is partisan or partial in the communal crisis between Share, his home town, and Tsaragi”.

“The allegations levelled against the governor by the people of Tsaragi, to say the least is shocking, unfair and inappropriate representation of what transpired during peace meeting he had with the people of the community”, the statement added. ‎

It further noted that “For the avoidance of doubt, ‎Gov. Ahmed swore to an oath of Office as the Governor of the State to be impartial to all, irrespective of ethnic, religious beliefs and other persuasions, he can, therefore, not take sides on the matter at hand. The fact that he is from Share by birth cannot in any way influence his decision on matters of the state, especially security related matters”.

It also clarified that “On the advice of the governor that all shades of views on how to resolve the recurring crisis between Share and Tsaragi, including, if need be, the application of the concept of ‘give and take’, it is painful that such advice is seen by some party in the dispute as ‘threatening land owners’, when in fact the governor expressed the same view when he had peace talks with the people of Share after the session with the people of Tsaragi”.

“It could be recalled that Gov. Ahmed told both parties that the people of Share and Tsaragi have to learn to co-habit‎ peacefully and draw strength and inspiration in their diversity for infrastructure and economic development of both communities”, it stressed.

The statement also stated that it is on record that the leader of the Tsaragi delegation, Dr Muhammed Haruna, in public glare, said to the effect that both communities must live together in peace.

“This is on the same page with the position of Gov. Ahmed, rather than the tar of partisanship that the people who claimed to have addressed the Press attempted to paint him”, the statement noted.

Governor Ahmed reiterated his call on communities in the state to be one another’s brother keepers while emphasizing his determination to guarantee peace and harmony in the state.