There are concerns over the security situation in Kwara state following the influx of criminal groups from Zamfara, seeking refuge in the state.
 
In a report by SB Morgen Intelligence, which will be released on Tuesday, February 8, 2022, the North Central states have witnessed some of the worst violence by organised armed groups in recent years, with varying security challenges.

According to the report, the criminal gangs have been moving to Kwara State, blending with the already existing local Fulani population.
 
However, the criminals were to later launch attacks on the Fulani brothers before they begin to launch a full-scale attack on the native residents.
 
“One of the most prominent of such cases happened on 2nd June 2021 when the head of the Fulani Bororo community in Oro-Ago, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, Alhaji Sheidu Madawaki, was murdered by unidentified gunmen.
 
“Mr Madawaki had paid a courtesy visit to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) office a few days before 'to establish a synergy on how to improve and sustain the existing peaceful coexistence in the kingdom'.
 
“Madawaki’s cordial relationship with local law enforcement may have put a target on his back by criminal groups who viewed him as an informant for the government,” the report said.
 
The report says there is a worrisome trend that insecurity and violent uprising in Kwara State may boil over to the situation in Oyo State, particularly Ibarapa.
 
The criminal Fulani gangs, according to the report launched attacks on the predominantly agrarian and pastoral communities in Kwara State almost at the heat of the conflict in Igangan in Ibarapa Local Government Areas of Oyo state which shares a land boundary with Kwara.
 
“The crisis in Ibarapa erupted in late December 2020 and lasted well into the first half of 2021. In that period, Kwara experienced a surge in the activities of kidnappers. There were, at least five recorded kidnap incidents in the state, before the first reported pastoral conflict-related clash in the same period made the news on 18th May, when two persons were killed and several others seriously injured in a bloody clash between Fulanis and Nupe youths of Pada village in the Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State.”
 
It further urged the Kwara State government to immediately rise to the occasion and put a stop to the menace of insecurity before it will metastasize into bigger problems.
 
The organisation suggested that the Kwara government engage in buy-in of traditional rulers and community leaders on resolving these conflict causes, more intense intelligence-gathering and more proactive policing to prevent attacks and clashes, as well as to adequately apprehend and prosecute criminals.

The report noted that the North Central region has witnessed some of the worst violence by organised armed groups in recent years, adding that the violence has now moved to Kwara.

However, nowhere is this pattern more pronounced than in Kwara state where Fulani communities in both Yoruba and non-Yoruba speaking areas have been victims of an increasing number of attacks by these gangs, the report noted. 

Kwara State has 16 local government areas and Yoruba is the dominant language in about 11. Only Edu and Pategi are predominantly Nupe speaking, while Baruten in the North Central part of the state which shares a border with the Republic of Benin speaks Baatonum and Bokobaru, languages it shares with Kaiama LGA. 

The local Fulani population is, however, dispersed across the state and is the dominant population in the Ilorin South Local Government Area, which makes up part of the Ilorin city, the report added.

It also said lately, criminal groups, mainly from Zamfara, seeking fresh territory have taken refuge in the state, launching coordinated and sometimes random attacks on the predominantly agrarian and pastoral communities.
At the height of the conflict in Igangan in Ibarapa Local Government Areas of Oyo which shares a land boundary with Kwara, the latter began to witness a creeping rise in the spate of insecurity.

You may also like

Read Next

Trending Now