By Adio Friday Odunjo (Orlando)
The important role played by the timely announcement of a 24 hours curfew which was later reviewed to dawn, in restoring sanity in Ilorin after the unfortunate looting incident can never be overemphasized.
That’s why all and sundry including yours sincerely was at the fore front vanguard giving kudos to the Governor, for growing the balls in arresting the ugly incident, which restored normalcy within days.
This age long adage that says “A stitch in time saves Nine” aptly captures the prompt deployment of the soldiers, it not only arrested the downward slide into societal anarchy, it also helped restored our dignity as a people, that the 24 hours looting madness, was and remains alien to us as a people.
However, 2 weeks down the line, with normalcy completely restored, the Kwara State Governor, have continued to force peace loving Kwarans to continuously used the ailment pill which abinitio wasn’t meant for the majority.
Mayhaps, the Governor has something he’s not telling us, else one finds it befuddling that the presence of soldiers on our roads for 24 hours, wherein they sit gently in a corner during the day and become beast feasting on innocent commuters most of whom live on their daily hustle, under the disguise that they’ve defiled a curfew that orders them to all be indoors before 8pm.
The Soldiers as traditional of them have been going beyond their mandate which if juxtaposed with the peaceful reality in town is even suspect, by refusing to respect the right of way for essential workers and all attempts to make them see reasons why these essential workers must be outside have always received scorn.
A budding journalist, Ahmed Lateef who is undoubtedly one of the finest writers on the stable of the State owned Herald Newspaper, was according to him stopped and made to sit on the floor for almost an hour, simply because he obeyed government’s order exempting essential workers which included journalists by doing his rightful work.
Isn’t it ironic, that even States like Lagos and Oyo State who witnessed more arson, wanton looting and even maiming have since relaxed the restrictions and soldiers disappeared from the roads, yet Kwara State whose madness was largely caused by the inability of the government to swiftly act on its supposed intelligence report which it got almost 24 hours before the embarrassing show, yet the poor masses are made to receive the backlash till date.
The sit of soldiers extorting motorists caught on the road after the 8pm is now a common stance, whipping and dehumanising Okada riders, innocent citizens among others is also a daily occurrence and therefore it’s safe to refer to Kwara as a ‘pseudo’ military State at present.
It’s disappointing that a government that got to power through a very popular and unanimously mandate is the same one blinded to the sufferings the rampaging soldiers are daily visiting on residents of Ilorin.
I think the Governor’s handshake has extended beyond the elbow and it’s now more of a fisticuff rather than a friendly extend of courtesy which it was erroneously thought to be and in that case it’s suspect and against the fundamental human rights and constitutional democracy which the Governor vowed to uphold and protect.
It hereby urge the Governor to urgently completely lift the curfew and allow the soldiers to go continue their regimented lifestyles in the barrack or better still, he can unleash them on the rampaging Kidnappers threatening the collective existence of our dearly beloved State.