Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq launched a high-powered committee of statesmen and diplomats on Monday to resolve the state’s long-running Erin-lle and Offa crisis, a process he hopes will help to finally restore harmony between these “great communities of brothers.”
Former Governor Cornelius Adebayo chairs the committee, which includes statesmen, jurists, historians, academics, and bureaucrats such as retired Justice Saidu Salihu, Alhaji LAK Jimoh, Chief Titus Ashaolu, Senator Simeon Ajibola, Alhaji Abubakar Ndakene, Senator Mohammed Ahmed, Permanent Secretary (Political, Cabinet, and Special Services) Barrister Sabitiyu Kikelo (Secretary).
AbdulRazaq urged the committee to do everything possible to find long-term solutions to the ongoing crisis, which has claimed lives and destroyed property for decades.
For posterity’s sake, this Government has decided to quickly move in another dimension to finding a lasting solution to this crisis,” AbdulRazaq said at the inauguration of the committee in Government House Ilorin, which was attended by retired UN special peace envoy and President’s Chief of Staff Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
I am truly grateful to the Almighty for making this day possible for us to witness, and I am hopeful that today’s stride will bring a positive resolution to an age-old issue between the Offa and Erin-lle Communities. ”
According to AbdulRazaq, the recurrence of the crisis — the most recent of which occurred in March 2021 — is a major headache for the administration and a setback for the two great communities’ economic viability.
Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to the President, praised the Governor for his sense of duty and the historic step taken to break the ice, and urged the two communities to reach an agreement that would cement Kwara’s reputation as the state of harmony that serves as a bridge between the north and the south.
A peace agreement between the two communities, according to Gambari, would be the best gift anyone could give to President Muhammadu Buhari, whose eyes the diplomat said would now be on the committee.
I brief President Muhammadu Buhari regularly as I get briefed by the governor. I keep him up to date on the land dispute between Erin-lle and Offa, and he always emphasized the importance of peace and unity. Because there can be no progress or development without peace. The most difficult conflicts arise between brothers.
They are brothers Erin-lle and Offa. These are communities that belong to the state of Kwara,” he said. Commend the chairman and Committee members for accepting the committee’s membership. The Nigerians’ eyes are on you.
I had the privilege in Myanmar, Iraq, Cyprus and Zimbabwe, of being peace maker on behalf of the United Nations and my last task was to do in Darfur among many communities. For me, the basic principles are identical that conflict solutions cannot be violent or militant.
What unites us, we’ve got to find. It is more than divides what unites us. The spoiler must be identified and individuals with personal interest isolated so as to make the center of gravity prevail.” C.O Adebayo, former governor and committee chairman of Kwara, said they would do everything in their power to enforce the government and people’s pride.
“Our thanks go to the Governor and the presence of the Chief of Staff. His presence here confirms our dedication, and adds that members of the panel cannot decline such an important state task.”