Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The federal government Thursday vowed to rid Kwara State of all criminals ahead of the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
This, the government said would assist the electorate to cast their votes for the candidates of their choice without any hindrance or molestation.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this Thursday in Offa,in Offa Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, during the official inauguration of the ultra modern mobile police barracks solely built by the community at the cost of N700 million and donated to the Nigeria Police.
The project was approved by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to beef up security within and around the community following the killings of 33 persons on April 5,2018 by a gang of armed robbers in a coordinated attack that shook the town.
Mohammed who expressed the determination of the government to rid the state of all criminals, said it was unfortunate that the state has been in the news for negative reasons in recent times.
According to him, “Those who witnessed what happened few days ago in Ilorin, the state capital will agree with me that cultists, hoodlums, hooligans and brigandage are all still very much active in Kwara State”.
He said, “So, my appeal to the police; as we are approaching elections days, there must be peace; every inch of this state must be free for people to cast his and her vote.
“Votes must not only be counted, it must also count. So,the way to achieve this is to rid this state of all criminals.
“We will not stand by, and allow this to continue; we will rid this state of all criminals ahead of the forthcoming elections”
He therefore urged authorities of Nigeria Police Force to redouble their efforts, towards ensuring that crimes and criminalities become a thing of the past in the entire state.
He however said that,”there is no controversy over the years about what the people of Offa can do to bring development to the community.
According to him, “I am not unmindful of what Offa can do through community help; I think all the communities should borrow a leaf from Offa community.
“What we are doing today is a strong message of support, and it is very apt considering what happened. We all remember the sadness, massacre that claimed innocent lives in Offa and what Offa has done; never again should this tragedy repeat itself in Offa again.
“ I want to call the police in Kwara State to redouble their efforts in ensuring that the state is safe. It is unfortunate that our state in the recent times has become notorious for criminalities.
“Kwara State in the recent times has made headlines. It is either because of armed robbery, killings and all forms of acts of cultism and this is why I believe that the police have a big responsibility to do to rid their communities of all criminalities because without peace there won’t be development. Nobody will come and invest in a community controlled by thugs, cultists and criminals”
The sate Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bashir Makama who represented the Inspector general of police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, commended the efforts of the community for the construction of the edifice, saying that government alone could not provide for all the needs of its citizens.
He urged other communities across the country to emulate the efforts of the children of Offa, because it is an action that portends development for the country.
The Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi, in his speech commended the sons and daughters of the community for pooling resources together to construct the barracks .
The monarch recalled that when the incident happened, he requested from the Inspector general of police, to construct a mobile barracks in the community, which was graciously approved.
“I told the IG that it would be completed within six months since Offa community is known for self-help project and here we are today,” he said.
“We have so far committed, N700 million to the project, and I want to commend the Kwara State Government, which promised the construction of a modern police station to complement our efforts; the project has also been completed but yet to be inaugurated”
In his address, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, commiserated with the victims and the community, saying,”on the other hand, it is gratifying that in keeping with its long tradition of community development and enterprise, Offa Community has built this Mobile Police Squadron Barracks to complement government efforts to make the town more secure. This is more so because the attack on Offa, the commercial nerve centre of Kwara South Senatorial District is, by implication, an attack on Kwara State.”
The governor who was represented by his Special Adviser on Security, Alhaji Amuda Bello added that,”consequently, shortly after the sad incident, government put in place palliative and preventive measures to forestall repeat occurrence. Towards this end, Kwara State Government covered the medical bills of those injured in the attack”.