Kwara State governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has explained why the 2021 durbar celebration was cancelled in the state.
According to the state governor, the celebration was not cancelled due to security concerns.
He made the clarification while hosting the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman, Kwara State Council of Chiefs, Ibrahim Sulugambari at the traditional Sallah homage.
Durbar is an important horse annual cultural festival in northern Nigeria, held a day after Sallah.
Indigenes and residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital had prepared for this year’s durbar only for the government to announce its cancellation.
While hosting the Emir, Governor Abdulrazaq said his government had to comply after a security report which did not favour hosting of the event.
Kwara State Government had earlier on Tuesday announced the suspension of the annual Durbar earlier scheduled for Wednesday, July 21, 2021, on security grounds.
According to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications, Rabiat Mopelola Abdulrahman the followed a police intelligence report which indicated that some forces plan to use the boisterous nature of the cultural event to cause a breakdown of law and order in the state, thereby complicating national security challenges.
The police authorities have arrested a man with a human head and hands concealed in a bag in a commercial bus travelling from Ajase-Ipo to Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Okasanmi Ajayi, the suspect, Kehinde Moses, confessed to having killed the victim, Mohammed, for ritual purposes in Ajase-Ipo, Irepodun Local Government Area of the state.
He said the suspect was apprehended on Monday after police operatives stopped the vehicle for search on the road, adding that Moses’ accomplice escaped by taking to his heels.
“In the course of interrogation, the suspect confessed that he and his fleeing partner killed the victim named Mohammed in Ajase-Ipo for ritual purposes,” the police spokesman said via a statement issued on Tuesday.
“Today, May 3, 2021, around 6.30 am along the Ajase-Ipo/Ilorin Road, a team of Operation Harmony on stop-and-search duty stopped one suspected commercial bus and in the process of searching a bag, one boy took to his heels, while his partner was held; the bag was searched and a freshly severed head and hands of a boy were discovered.
“The suspect by name Kehinde John Moses took a team of investigators to where the body was dumped for purposes of recovery and subsequent transfer to the hospital for autopsy.”
Reacting to the arrest, the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Mohammed Lawal Bagega, directed the homicide section of the state criminal investigation department (SCID) to thoroughly investigate the case and arrest anybody connected to the heinous crime.
He also warned criminals to vacate Kwara State, noting that Command would deploy all legal means to deal with them.
The police boss also reiterated the commitment of the State Police Command in flushing out criminal activities from the state.
Meanwhile, an investigation into the case is ongoing and the suspects will be charged to court upon the conclusion of the probe.
Kwara United striker, Michael Ohanu scored his 7th goal of the season on matchday 19 of the Nigeria Professional Football League as the Harmony Boys cruised to a 2-0 victory over Nasarawa United in Ilorin.
The matchday 19 encounter against the Solid Miners didn’t produce any goal in the first half but both teams showed more intent to win it in the second half. The home team showed more hunger and it paid manifested with a goal in the 58th minute.
Jude Stephen provided the assist for Samuel Ganda who went through the Nasarawa United defenders to blast home the opener. Stephen provided the assist again for Ohanu to double the lead for the home side.
With today’s win, Kwara United extended their unbeaten home record to 10 matches. The victory also means coach Abdullahi Biffo’s team will return to the top of the league table with 36 points. The Harmony Boys have recorded 3 loses and 6 draws so far this season.
In Uyo, Dakkada FC recorded their 9th win of the season, thrashing Rivers United 4-2 at the Nest of Championship. The result lifted the Chosen Ones to 8th on the log.
It was indeed a festival of goals. Emmanuel Charles opened the scoring for the home side in the 23rd minute. Nelson Esor pulled one back for the Pride of Rivers and shot them into the lead moments later. Musa Bashiru scored just before the break to put the home team back into the contest.
When play resumed in the second half, Bashiru secured his brace and shot Dakkada into the lead. Christian Ekong put the icing on the cake when he scored via a free-kick from 25 yards out to seal the victory.
At the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, Kano Pillars moved to joint top with Kwara United on the league table with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Warri Wolves. Rabiu Ali’s goal from the spot in the 63rd minute made the difference for Sai Masu Gida.
In Bauchi, Wikki Tourists beat Katsina United 3-1 to record their sixth win of the season. Manu Garba scored a brace while Stephen Chukwude wrapped up a fine performance for coach Musa Abdullah’s team with a goal in the 72nd minute. Joseph Atule scored Katsina United’s only goal.
In Makurdi, Lobi Stars came from a goal down to beat Jigawa Golden Stars 2-1. The visitors got into the lead in the first half and kept it till the second half when Chinonso Okonkwo scored to put the hosts back into the contest and got his brace in the 57th minute to deliver the 8th win of the season for the Pride of Benue.
In Lagos, MFM FC and FC Ifeanyi Ubah played a 1-1 draw. Justice Zachariah gave the home team the lead in the first half while Lukman Aliu’s goal in the 64th minute ensured the visitors leave with a point.
On Saturday, Akwa United extended their unbeaten run to 8th matches after playing a goalless draw with Sunshine Stars at the Agege Stadium in Lagos. The result extended the winless run of Coach Gbenga Ogunbote’s team to twelve matches.
On Monday, In Okigwe, Abia Warriors will take on Plateau United while Heartland FC will clash with Adamawa United.
Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has said his administration will be fair and courageous in taking decisions in the overall interest of the state.
He stated this in a state broadcast on Tuesday amid the controversy trailing the ban of hijab in some mission schools in the state.
The school authorities had on February 19 denied the students entry, saying that the use of the headgear is not allowed in line with the doctrine establishing the mission schools, but the students have defied the directives.
In a statement issued on February 26, the Secretary to the Kwara State Government, Prof. Mamma Sabah Jibril, said “any willing schoolgirl with the approved (uniform) hijab shall have the right to wear the same in public/grant-aided schools.”
Additionally, the government through its Ministry of Education ordered the closure of 10 schools, where the use of hijab is disputed.
But this didn’t go down well with the school authorities.
When the schools were eventually reopened on March 17, violence erupted in Ilorin as Christians and Muslims clashed in the state capital.
The violence started after Christian officials of Baptist School, Surulere disallowed the girls in Hijab from gaining access into the school.
Reacting to the issue, Governor AbdulRazaq said his administration announced an official policy on February 26 allowing any willing Muslim schoolgirl to wear the hijab in public schools after “several days of consultations, meetings, brainstorming, and dispassionate weighing of policy options.”
“We took that decision in good faith and in the overall interest of all. I swore to an oath to protect every Kwaran. This oath includes looking at the bigger picture and doing everything to prevent a crisis before it occurs,” he said.
“I acknowledge the apprehension from the Christian and Muslim communities. Having held dozens of meetings with various thoughts leaders from both sides in the last four weeks, I am convinced that beneath the tensions and misgivings around the hijaab decision are old wounds that must be healed.
“I assure all Kwarans that we will take genuine steps to address the concerns raised by various faith communities. In doing so, a huge dose of understanding, selflessness, and patriotism will be required. Going forward, we will need leaders from both sides to spread the message of love, accommodation, patience, peace, and mutual respect.
“Notwithstanding their varied positions, I am proud of the level of restraints and statesmanship shown by our religious leaders. I commend them and reassure them that we will always be fair, courageous in taking decisions for sustainable peace, and be willing to listen to their concerns.”
READ FULL STATEMENT HERE:
Text of the broadcast by Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on the hijaab decision on March 23, 2021.
On 26th February, the administration announced an official policy allowing any willing Muslim schoolgirl to wear the hijab in public schools. That announcement followed several days of consultations, meetings, brainstorming, and dispassionate weighing of policy options. We took that decision in good faith and in the overall interest of all. I swore an oath to protect every Kwaran. This oath includes looking at the bigger picture and doing everything to prevent a crisis before it occurs.
I acknowledge the apprehension from the Christian and Muslim communities. Having held dozens of meetings with various thoughts leaders from both sides in the last four weeks, I am convinced that beneath the tensions and misgivings around the hijaab decision are old wounds that must be healed.
I assure all Kwarans that we will take genuine steps to address the concerns raised by various faith communities. In doing so, a huge dose of understanding, selflessness, and patriotism will be required. Going forward, we will need leaders from both sides to spread the message of love, accommodation, patience, peace, and mutual respect.
Notwithstanding their varied positions, I am proud of the level of restraints and statesmanship shown by our religious leaders. I commend them and reassure them that we will always be fair, courageous in taking decisions for sustainable peace and be willing to listen to their concerns. The starting point will be the reconstitution in the coming days of the interfaith committee to further build confidence as well as provide templates to steadily resolve all issues of mutual concerns.
I commend the security agencies for their professionalism and their sticking to strategic patience jointly agreed upon. This has helped to prevent the loss of lives and properties while keeping crisis merchants in check. I urge parents to speak to their wards to stay away from trouble. Any attempt to take advantage of the situation to foment trouble will be met with maximum punishment prescribed by the law.
Finally, my profound appeal goes to all our leaders to prioritise communal peace and human brotherhood. We need to join hands to build a generation of future leaders who acknowledge and respect one another’s differences. This is necessary to build a community of patriots and partners for a greater Kwara.
The Christian Association of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government and the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed to intervene in the ongoing violence over the hijab policy which according to the association has led to violence and bloodletting in Kwara State.
CAN in a statement issued on Wednesday by the CAN General Secretary, Joseph Bade Daramola, said Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, should be held responsible if the matter degenerates.
According to the religious body, the governor’s pronouncement on the issue of hijab-wearing is in violation of the court directive on the matter that the status quo should be maintained until the matter is resolved by the court.
“Wisdom is required by those in leadership to handle sensitive issues such as that of religion so as not to precipitate war. if any damage is done to any church or anyone is injured on this matter, the governor of Kwara State will be held responsible,” the statement partly read.
“It is disheartening and unfortunate that a government that was installed democratically will become insensitive to the plight and the yearning of the people as if the governor was voted into the office primarily to protect his own religion. This is unfair, ungodly and reprehensible.
“There are public schools and schools that belong to some Islamic organisations where those who wanted to be wearing hijab can be attending without causing the ongoing needless crises rocking the state.”
The Christian association called on Governor Abdulrazaq to give peace a chance in the state by ordering hoodlums attacking mission schools and churches in the state to stop before the situation degenerates into an unprecedented religious crisis.
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed up five filling stations in the Ilorin metropolis over offences ranging from over-pricing, under-dispensing and absconding.
Speaking with journalists after monitoring over 35 filling stations in the state capital on Tuesday, the Controller Ilorin field office of the DPR, Engineer Sule Yusuf, said that there is no fuel scarcity and plan to increase fuel price in the country.
“We observed that operators seem to be taking laws into their hands by selling over what government has allowed them to sell, especially, for Petrol. We’ve been going out to monitor before, and we’ll continue to do that. Today is just special because it’s the price we’re out to monitor price, quality, quantity and pump efficiency.
“Two teams of the DPR officials went out this morning in different directions. We visited about 35 filling stations out of which two absconded and sealed. They know the consequences.
“They will only be reopened when they show remorse, pay sanction fees and comply. About three stations were caught over-pricing. We’ve forced them to bring the price down to the allowable range and they’ve complied so that they don’t continue cheating the public.
“For now, there’s no increase in pump price, so they have to comply. If any station is selling above the window range of N162 and N165 per litre people should inform the authority. We’ll visit those stations and force them to comply in addition to sanctions”.
Engineer Yusuf, who advised consumers to watch out so they are not short-changed, said that they should get value for their money.
“Operators are advised to play the game according to rules to avoid being sanctioned. Yes, they are out to make profits but not at the detriment of the majority of the public”, he said.
The Kwara State Government has approved the right for Muslim female students to wear hijab in schools.
The approval comes after some students were prevented from entering the school premises for wearing the hijab.
In a statement by the Secretary to the Kwara State Government, Prof. Mamma Sabah Jibril, says “Consequently, the government hereby acknowledges and approves the right of the Muslim schoolgirl to wear the hijab, and directs the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development to come up with a uniform hijab for all public/ grant-aided schools, which will be the accepted mode of head covering in schools.
“Any willing schoolgirl with the approved (uniform) hijab shall have the right to wear the same in public/grant-aided schools”.
Read Full Statement Below:
Position of Kwara State Government on the Hijaab Question in Public Schools
Sequel to recent developments in our state over the status of the hijaab in public/grant-aided schools, the state government has consulted widely with thought leaders and leaders of both Muslim and Christian communities with a view to clarifying issues and reaching a consensus. The last of such meetings was held on Wednesday, February 24, presided by His Excellency Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
At least 10 schools of interest were earlier shut down to maintain peace and public order as well as prevent mischief-makers from taking undue advantage of the development.
The state government has considered submissions of all major interest groups on the matter. It has also thoroughly considered the education law of Kwara State, the prevailing court judgments, and current global trends of multiculturalism in evolving a consultation-based decision that will bring lasting peace and understanding to our communities. The government has also paid particular attention to the ‘declaratory’ nature of the subsisting judgments of the Court of Appeal and their purports.
Consequently, the government hereby acknowledges and approves the right of the Muslim schoolgirl to wear the hijab, and directs the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development to come up with a uniform hijab for all public/ grant-aided schools, which will be the accepted mode of head covering in schools. Any willing schoolgirl with the approved (uniform) hijab shall have the right to wear the same in public/grant-aided schools.
Also, the government affirms the right of every child in public schools to freedom of worship.
The government hereby directs that the affected 10 schools should reopen to commence classes on Monday 8th March 2021.
Similarly, the government has carefully noted submissions regarding ownership of grant-aided schools and related issues. While the status of these schools is the subject of judicial determination, this and other related matters will soon be subjected to a technical committee to advise accordingly. The government reassures all members of the public that it will act in good conscience at all times.
The government asserts that there is no victor or vanquished on the hijaab question. It urges the two faith communities, especially the leaders, opinion moulders, and media personalities to act with restraint and great responsibility in their public utterances and actions and continue to live in peace and harmony with one another. The government commends all the thought and religious leaders on both sides for their forbearance, understanding, and commitment to peace.
Prof Mamma Sabah Jibril Secretary to the Kwara State Government February 25, 2021
There was tension in some parts of Kwara State over the decision by authorities of some mission schools to stop students with head covering known as hijab from entering the school premises.
Channels Television correspondent reported that the students were stopped at the gate of the school on Friday morning over the controversial matter which has been on for a few years.
The school authorities said that the use of the headgear is not allowed in line with the doctrine establishing the mission schools, but the students have defied the directives.
Meanwhile, security operatives in the state say efforts are currently ongoing to douse the tension as a meeting has been summoned between operators of mission schools in the state and religious organisation.
While a staff lamented how they were chased out, a parent also bemoaned how his daughter was injured during an attempt to enter the school.
The security personnel was on the ground to maintain peace and order to prevent the breakdown of law and order.
Explaining the reasons behind the closure, the President of the Baptist Conference in the state, Victor Dada said the school was shut to prevent forceful entrance of girls in hijab as the rules of the school did not allow such dressing.
The Muslims on their part during a press conference said it has a court judgement in its favour allowing the usage of hijab in public schools across the state wondering why their wards are being turned back.
The spokesperson of the governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, pleaded with both sides to maintain peace as a committee headed by the state deputy governor has been set up to find a lasting solution to the crisis of hijab usage in schools.
In order to prevent the escalation of the crisis, the government has shut down ten Christian named secondary schools in the state and a committee is expected to come out with lasting solutions.
The planned stakeholders meeting scheduled to discuss the modalities for the commencement of registration and revalidation of members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) ended in violence.
At the meeting which held in Ilorin the Kwara State capital, a factional state chairman was allegedly rough-handled, causing opposing factions to go at each other with chairs being thrown in different directions.
While the clash forced many to abandon the meeting, the violence did not stop in the hall as the vehicle of the women leader was smashed.
Efforts made to get reactions from the governor were not successful.
Below is a video from the meeting that ended in chaos.