Palpable fear has now gripped residents of Ilorin and its environs as well as the entire Kwara State over the influx of suspected herdsmen into the state.
According to a report by Daily Post, there have been heightened fear with the relocation of the sacked Sarkin Fulani of Igangan, Salihu Abdulkadir to Ilorin, the State capital.
WITHIN NIGERIA had reported that Abdulkadir was sent packing with his family from Igangan in Ibarapa Local Government Area of Oyo State following a seven-day ultimatum issued by Sunday Igboho over alleged kidnapping, killings and other criminal acts in the town.
On Thursday, Abdulkadir announced his relocation to Ilorin at a press conference, where he indicted the Oyo police command of conniving with the people of Igangan to make him a scapegoat.
“Given the conspiracy by the police with the natives of Igangan, I and my people, will not feel comfortable returning to Igangan,” he told newsmen at the press conference.
It was observed that, the relocation of the Sarkin Fulani to Ilorin, has, however, triggered concern about the safety of lives and property among residents, considering the serious allegations against him and his family.
Few days after the eviction of the Sarkin Fulani, the Kwara State Coordinator of Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, New Era, Comrade Bayo Fabiyi, raised the alarm over the suspicious influx of suspected herdsmen into the state.
The OPC coordinator described as unacceptable the decision of the Sarkin Fulani to seek asylum in Ilorin.
He challenged Sarkin Fulani to prove his claim that he is a native of Asa Local Government Area of the state, saying, ” He is a liar.”
Fabiyi disclosed that “The Sarkin Fulani and his men chased away from Igangan and other areas in Oyo State, have found their way to Kwara” as he reliably gathered.
He revealed that on Wednesday, nine trailer load of herdsmen and cattle were chased back from Esie, in Irepodun Local Government of the State by local hunters.
“Settlements like Esie, Arandun, Omido, Agbamu, Oro-Ago, Amori, Oke-Ode, Buari, Igbaja, up to Share area have been overwhelmed by the influx of these herders with most of them carrying arms, making it dangerous and suspicious,” he added.
Fabiyi, stressed the need for Kwara and Kogi States to collaborate in the bid to dislodge the herdsmen to avoid future situation of managing a monumental crisis instead of nipping it in the bud.
Fabiyi, said, his men stationed across the state, gave him intelligence report about the suspicious movements of cattle herders into some Yoruba speaking areas of the state and have virtually outnumbered the inhabitants.
Also commenting on the development, a top government security officer, who requested anonymity, said ” the government is equal to the task of protecting the lives and properties of the citizens” adding that ” there is no cause for alarm.”
In his own reaction, the spokesman of the state police command, Mr Okasanmi Ajayi, said ” The command is firmly on ground to avert any security threat.
“The Kwara State police commissioner, Lawal Mohammed Bagega, last week, held an emergency security meeting with Area commanders, divisional police officers, and heads of tactical units in the command on the need to ensure there is no security breach.
“On anxiety of strange faces in parts of the state, the command is monitoring the situation, no efforts would be spared to ensure Kwara remains safe.
“Meanwhile, the command is in constant touch with the relevant stakeholders in this regards,” the spokesman added.