Protest In Kwara Against Overzealous Security Men

Scores of indigenes of Offa, Offa Local government area of Kwara state yesterday took to the streets to protest against alleged overzealousness of security agents deployed to the community.

The state government had in March imposed curfew on Offa and Erin-Ile after an outbreak of communal clash between the two communities.

But, Offa community has accused the security personnel of partisanship and one-sidedness in their dealing with them.

The protesters started their peaceful rally from Itafa area to Avalon Hotel junction through the Federal Polytechnic, Offa wielding different placards.

Some of the placards read: “Offa is larger than the office of a Security”, “SA security cannot re-write our history”, “Offa cannot be intimidated”, “Offa will resist security rascality” and “Kwara government is biased against Offa”.

Speaking with reporters, the Iyaloja General of Offa Idiat Yusuf said: “This peaceful protest we are embarking upon is not between Offa and Erin-Ile. It is between the community members and the security personnel deployed to maintain peace between the two communities.

“The security personnel have abandoned where the government asked them to stay and maintain peace. They are supposed to stay between Offa and Erin-Ile boundary. They have started harassing and intimidating residents of Offa communities.

“They have disrupted our commercial activities. The security men were drafted to Offa and Erin-Ile in the aftermath of another communal clash that erupted between the two neighbouring communities in March this year.

“The overzealousness of the security personnel is only being borne by Offa indigenes because the Special Adviser to Governor Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq is from Erin-Ile. It is a known fact that Offa and Erin-Ile have over the years, having running battle over land issue.

“It, therefore, means the state government ought to have appointed neutral person to be his special adviser on security matters. The security personnel have become one-sided and partisan to the detriment of Offa.

“We are not saying government is backing them, but what the security agents are doing is too bad and harmful to our economy. People can no longer go about their normal business in and around Federal Polytechnic area.”

Another speaker, Yusuf Babatunde AbdulAzeez, said: “The protest has nothing to do with engaging anybody in any war. It is to express our experience in the hands of security agents deployed to arrest the ugly situation that happened on March 3rd this year, which is uncalled for.”