Kwara state Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has on Friday declared 24 hours curfew as a way of restoring calmness and sanity back to the state following the restiveness and unrestrained looting of public and private properties in Ilorin the state capital
Governor AbdulRazaq disclosed this while addressing Journalists at the Government House, Ilorin, after the security meeting held with all the head of security agencies in the state around 11:30pm on Friday.
According to the Governor “I have just had an emergency security meeting with commanders of various security agencies in the state. This is to assess the situation in the state. Over the last few days, I had earlier met with the traditional rulers, opinion leaders, members of the student community, and many other stakeholders in the state“
”Our observation is that what has happened so far today was not a protest. It cannot be defended under any guise”
”It was a pure act of criminality. Some persons are hiding under the nationwide tension to commit crimes”
”The government has a duty to protect law abiding citizens and their properties”
”Lives are being threatened. Businesses are being looted. Public properties have been targeted. This is unacceptable. It is not who we are.”
”To curb these acts of criminalities, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolis from midnight today October 23rd, 2020. This is in line with Sections 1, 2 and 4 of the Public Order Act Chapter 382 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004”
”People are urged to stay indoors in compliance with this curfew. This will be reviewed as we watch developments”
”While the curfew is on, security forces have been placed on the alert to maintain strict compliance. I urge citizens to comply by this declaration which is meant to protect lives and properties”
”Finally, we apologise to our people and businesses that have been badly hurt. I urge them to be calm while we stop the criminality now” he said
The Hoodlums who invaded Kwara Mall housing Shoprite, Palms and others at Fate Road Ilorin and Femtech IT mall situated at Ibrahim Taiwo road in Ilorin loot everything as some youth preyed on big plasma TVs, watching machine and other electronics as they carried them on their heads, running away as others carried looted building materials including office equipment.
However, despite the looting spree, the hoodlums also extorting motorists plying Taiwo and Unity Roads as they mounted barricades on the roads, armed with dangerous weapons as many people fall victim of their extortion at night
The hoodlums who also went to attack the Kwara command of customs office were repelled by the customs officers as unidentified number of casualties were recorded as at the time of filling this report
Meanwhile the state government has exempts essential workers from the 24-hour curfew
In a statement issued by the Commissioner for Communications Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin said “those covered in the exemption are health workers; media workers (journalists); petrol station workers; bankers. Such persons would only be accorded such privilege if they present their valid (work place) identity cards identifying them as such.
” The government regrets the inconvenience the curfew may cause the citizenry but it is necessary to maintain law and order at this critical time” she said.
Meanwhile, The hoodlums had earlier break into Ilorin cargo terminal the stores housing housing palliatives for victims of recent flood and rainstorm and Agro Mall which involved the recent food palliatives donated by the FG on October 13. That was meant for eight LGs (Ilorin West, Ilorin East, Ilorin South, Asa, Edu, Patigi, Moro, and Ifelodun) affected by recent flood and rainstorm our correspondent gathered that out of these, the palliatives for Ilorin South, East, Asa and West have been distributed. What was affected were palliatives meant for Edu, Patigi, Moro and Ifelodun as they also attacked Customs and some private firms.
According to Rafiu Ajakaye, the chief press secretary to the Kwara State governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, “It is a case of pure hooligalism, barbarism and pure greed which should have no place in human civilisation.”
Earlier, the Kwara state Government had raised the alarm over plots by some anarchists to launch violent attacks on public properties in the state as part of their grand plan to destabilise the country to achieve sinister objectives.
“The government is in possession of intelligence reports that some anarchists, backed by certain political interests, are planning to attack public facilities in the state especially the capital city Ilorin. Specifically, we are aware of the evil plan to attack the facilities where the palliatives recently donated by the Federal Government are being kept for further distribution to victims of the recent rainstorm,” according to a statement by the Honourable Commissioner for Communications Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin.
“It is important to state that the disbursements of the federal government’s palliatives to the victims began since Monday October 19. It is still ongoing as of today, October 23rd.
“The State Government has alerted the security agencies to the evil plots to attack public properties. Even so, this serves to inform members of the public of the plots of some unpatriotic elements who have hijacked the peaceful protests nationwide to impose anarchy and advance their own political cause. The government therefore urges members of the public to be vigilant and not let down their own guards while every effort is being made to secure lives and properties of every citizen. Finally, the government urges members of the public to go about their lawful business without any fear.” she said.