The Nation (Nigeria)

•ADEBAYO HEADS KWARA PANEL ON OFFA/ERIN-ILE CRISIS RESOLUTION

- From Adekunle Jimohn, Ilorin

KWARA State Governor Abdulrahma­n Abdulrazaq yestermuni­ties day inaugurate­d a committee to resolve the Erin-ile and Offa crisis.

The committee comprises statesmen, diplomats, a jurist, academics, bureaucrat­s and a lawyer.

The governor hoped that the process would restore harmony between “these great communitie­s of brothers.”

Ex-governor Cornelius Adebayo is the committee chairman.

Other members are Justice Saidu Salihu (rtd); Alhaji LAK Jimoh; Chief Titus Ashaolu (SAN); Senator Simeon Ajibola; Alhaji Abubakar Ndakene; Senator Mohammed Ahmed; Permanent Secretary (Political, Cabinet and Special Services) Sabitiyu Kikelomo Grillo and Prof. Hassan Saliu (secretary).

Abdulrazaq urged the committee to proffer a solution to the crisis that had claimed lives and property.

“For posterity, this government has decided to swiftly move in another dimension to find a solution to this crisis,” the governor said at the inaugurati­on of the committee at the Government House, Ilorin.

It was attended by the retired UN Special Peace Envoy and Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.

Abdulrazaq said: “I am indeed very grateful to the Almighty for making this day possible for us to witness and with the belief that today’s stride will bring a good turnaround to an agelong issue between Offa and Erin-ile communitie­s.”

The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, hailed the governor for his sense of duty and the historic step to break the ice, and urged the two comto agree to a peace deal that would further cement the sobriquet of Kwara as the state of harmony that is the bridge between the North and the South.

Gambari said a peace deal between the two communitie­s would be the best gift anyone could give to President Muhammadu Buhari, whose eyes, the diplomat said, will now be on the committee.

“I want to really commend His Excellency, our governor, for his tireless efforts in ensuring that peace prevails between the two communitie­s. He briefs me all the time and I in turn brief His Excellency, the President. What he has asked me is to stress the enormity of the task this committee has. Because what we want is a permanent solution to the perennial conflict which has taken many lives and so much resource.

“I praise the chairman and members of the committee for accepting to serve in the committee. The eyes of Nigerians are on you. The eyes of Mr. President are on you. I believe by God’s grace success will be yours. Because your success is the success of the two communitie­s and the success of Kwara State.

“I have been privileged to be a peace maker on behalf of the United Nations in Myanmar, Iraq, Cyprus and Zimbabwe. My last assignment was in Darfur. For me, the fundamenta­ls are the same that there cannot be violent or military solution to conflicts. We have to find what unites us. What unites us is greater than what divides us. We have to identify the spoilers and isolate those with personal interest so that the centre of gravity can prevail.”

Adebayo said they would do their best to make the government and the people proud.

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