By Mumini AbdulKareem
Senate President and Chairman of National Assembly, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki has waded into the secession agitation by some elders of Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State, National Pilot, has reliably gathered.
To this end, Saraki has set up a high power fact finding committee whose members cut across local governments in Kwara North to look into the issue.
The said panel is headed by Chairman of the Governing Council of Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, Alhaji Saidu Issa, who hails from Lafiagi and also chairs the Kwara North Elders Forum. Senator Ahmed Ahmed is to serve as Secretary of the body.
Other members of the committee, this medium gathered last night, included former chairman of Peoples Democratic Party Chairman in the state, Alhaji Abubakar Zubair from Patigi, Hon Bagidi from Kaiama, Elder Wole Oke and Alhaji AbdulRaheem Adisa both from Moro, among others.
It was gathered that the committee is still gathering materials from interested parties on the issue.
The setting up of the committee, this medium learnt, followed a letter of complaint written to the Senate President tagged; “The demand for justice, equity, fairness, from the Kwara State Government by the indigenes of Moro Local Government: A need for caution by Moro Concerned Elders Movement (MOCEM).
A copy of the letter which was signed by former commissioners in the state, Alhaji Isiaka Jimoh, Alhaji Issa Malete and four others was sent to the office of President, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, office of the Speaker of House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Kwara State Commissioner of Police and the Director, State Security Services, Ilorin.
MOCEM alleged in the letter, “Various unconstitutional actions against Moro people by the state government and neglect of desired development.
It said the grouping of Moro with Kwara North has denied the community of all its political rights and privileges adding that the local government should be moved to Kwara Central or South in the next delineation exercise of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The group said the action of the state government and Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu Gambari on the issue has been worrisome adding that it is sad that the only response to their demand was the one issued by the Magaji Nda of Ilorin, Alhaji Soliu Woru Muhammed.
Explaining further last night, Elder Wole Oke told National Pilot that, “Our right should not be suppressed simply because we belong to Kwara North” adding that “we have written memo to INEC and Saraki among others for things to be readjusted so that some sections of the state, in this case Moro should not be marginalised forever.
But in its reply of MOCEM’s letter to the Senate President committee, the Deputy Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon Matthew Okedare and the All Progressives Congress (APC) Kwara North Senatorial Chairman, Alhaji Isiaka Oniwa under the aegis of Eminent Moro Elders, accused MOCEM of seeking relevance because of 2019 politics.
The group identified Wole Oke, Engr Layi Ayinde, Alhaji Oba Ishola and others among the dissident working for MOCEM adding that the silence of government on the issue despite their complaints is disturbing.
It therefore called on the government to expedite action on the issue by, “removal of the signpost erected at Shao and Malete junctions … and to prosecute those behind the action in accordance with the law to serve as deterrent to others.
They also resolve to forever be part of the Emirate while pledging their unflinching support to the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari.
Other signatories to the letters of the Moro Eminent Elders are Hon Adebayo Muhammed (Oloru/Ipaiye/Malete), Chairman, Teaching Service Commission, Hon Razaq Ibrahim, Permanent Member III, SUBEB, Alhaji Shuaib Baba Jimoh, Moro TIC Chair, Olaiya Zubair, Barr. Ibrahim Alikinla, who is the Secretary of the group, Alhaji Faruq Opeloyeru, and Alhaji Isa Bolanle, among others.
Okedare (Jebba) while speaking further on the issue, said, MOCEM “are not only fighting for separation of Moro but for political survival, they have all along against Saraki but we have always defeated them.
Okedare said their call for the relocation of Moro from Kwara North to Central or South showed they are very confused because they are still asking to be part of the Emirate which they claimed they are rejecting.
Reacting, the Magaji Nda of Ilorin, Alhaji Mohammed in a telephone chat with National Pilot said the committee should not have included people like Wole Oke because the report may not be balanced.
He added that there is no traditional ruler in Shao because “no government can create kingdom as princes and princesses are born and those agitating were captured.
Mohammed stated that it is regrettable that the signpost erected by members of MOCEM is still there and called on the government to revitalise its action on the issue adding that issues of secession is not expression of right but criminal.