Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Elders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State on Friday sued for lasting peace between Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and Saraki family over Ile Arugbo crisis.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin, one of the elders of the party, .Alhaji Olola Kasumu, appealed to the two sides to unite forces and bring progress to Kwara State and Nigeria as a whole through amicable resolution of the matter
Alhaji Kasumu who is the president of Afonja Descedants Union, said that the crisis nearly divided the community and the state, advised the state government to leave the property for the Saraki considering the loss already suffered.
The elder statesman, who narrated how intervention of the late Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Sulu Gambari, put an end to long time conflict between Afonja family and the Emir palace, said that the people of Ilorin are more united now, particularly, due to inter marriages.
“Ile Arugbo crisis wanted to divide Ilorin community and the state as a whole. Ile Arugbo is a meeting place where the downtrodden, the talakawas meet Saraki as a political leader.
“I was there before with Idiagbon community in Ilorin and we benefitted between 2001 and 2002. I don’t see anything wrong with Ile Arugbo. It was later politicised. And our governor’s first mistake is to have been pushed into that emotional issue.
“I did not support the idea of rushing to attack Ile Arugbo like that, as if there was war. I’m sorry, it has happened and I hope it will be amicably resolved and the community will be united again. What we want is progress, food, long life and prosperity instead of something that will divide us.
“Food, prosperity are what he should have started with. Ile Arugbo is a bad episode in his political history. I don’t see the essence of it. The new governor should not have dabbled into that.”
He added, “The two groups have played important roles in the community. AGF Razaq, the governor’s father, was good and belonged to Sardauna group then. He tried his best, but had his foibles.
“Today, we’re united and one. So, the two groups should unite and see themselves as equally good for the progress of the state. I will appeal to them to unite forces and bring progress to Kwara State and Nigeria as a whole.”
Alhaji Kasumu also said that the property should be left for Saraki as the place had suffered destruction.
Talking on relationship between people of Idi Ape, who are descendants of Afonja, and the Emir’s palace over long time conflict between them, Alhaji Kasumu said that the two families are one.
“The conflict started during military era. But you reached a stage when military was siding us and there was Ekundayo panel. However, there are only two of us remaining alive among the proponents. Justice Salami and I. Oniyangi is no more like others.
“The father of present emir resolved the conflict. Today, we’re united, more so by marriage. Late Adisa’s marriage to Emir’s daughter produced six children. Ilorin is a product of two leaders, Afonja and Alimi. Alimi, being an Islamic scholar used his knowledge and acumen to assist Afonja. Conflict ensued as humans.”
He however said, “Emir’s forsight in giving her daughter in marriage, in the name of Allah, ended the conflict. Where do you take the children? Adisa, the father, Emir Sulu Gambari’s daughter, the mother.
“These children see themselves as united people. So, we are forced to agree and concede our agitation and say Ilorin, Kwara is one. We are one with Alimi family.”