By Ahmed Ajikobi
To ensure hitch-free Eid-el-Kabir celebration, no fewer than 10,730 security men will be deployed across Kwara State with the larger concentration expected in Ilorin, the state capital.
This was gathered yesterday when our reporter spoke with various security and traffic agencies on their plans for the Sallah celebration.
When contacted on the telephone, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ajayi Okasanmi said that, 2,000 officers will be deployed to ensure safety of lives and property during the Sallah celebration and Durbar festival.
Okasanmi however urged Kwarans not to politicise the Durbar festival or partake in any criminal activity. “People should not make use of the day to perpetrate any criminal activity as anyone caught in any nefarious act will face the wrath of law,” the PPRO said.
Similarly, the Kwara State Command of Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN), said it will be deploying 5,000 of its men for the celebration.
The Director Intelligence of VGN in the state, Saka Ibrahim said, 200 men have been deployed to the Eid ground and another 100 deployed to Emir’s Palace while the other will be positioned in strategic areas of the state.
Also, the Kwara State Commandant of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Sunday Maku stated that 2,000 regular personnel and Special Marshals will be deployed for the celebration with another 50 expected from the headquarters in Abuja.
He added that the command has commenced 10 days special patrol at the weekend with 23 operational vehicles and three ambulances. According to him, the directive from the FRSC headquarters is to ensure that all traffic challenges witnessed during Sallah celebration is effectively taken care of nationwide.
“We have identified traffic flash points within Ilorin and other parts of the state and we will ensure that they are effectively manned, in conjunction with other security agencies.
“There will also be 24-hour standby rescue teams in the event of any emergency,” he said.
Maku, however, appealed to motorists and the general public to be safety conscious, tolerant, patient and to adhere strictly to extant traffic regulations for the safety of all road users.
In the same vein, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the state, Bello Olorunfemi said that the command will be deploying 1,500 of its men across the 16 Local Government Areas of Kwara State.
He urged members of the public to go about the Sallah celebration lawfully as the command will not condone any breakdown of law and order.
Also, the Chief Executive Officer of the Kwara State Road Traffic Management Authority (KWARTMA), Alhaji Yekeen Babatunde Bello said 150 officers will be deployed to ensure free flow of traffic during the celebration.
…Ilorin residents groan as foodstuffs prices skyrocket
By Matthew Denis
As Muslim faithful across the globe celebrate Eid-el-Kabir, tomorrow, residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital have lamented the high cost of food items in various markets.
Some Ilorin residents, who spoke with this medium yesterday, stressed that the celebration is likely to be low-key for them and their families due to their lean purse and the rising cost of foodstuffs in the market.
At Mandate market, a customer, Mrs. Aremu Sadiya said, “I came to buy some foodstuffs but their prices have escalated in the last few days.
“A bucket of tomatoes we normally buy for N2,500 now goes for N6,000 while a basket of onion now cost N12,000 as against the N8,000.”
Another customer, Hajia Zainabu Mohammed regretted that six tubers of yam previously sold for N1, 000 is now being sold between N1,200 and N1,500.
A trader, who identified herself as Iya Ibrahim said a bag of rice costs N16,300 while 25 litres of groundnut oil and palm oil is pegged at N16,200 and N19,200 respectively.
Mallam Abdullahi Musa, who sells pepper and tomatoes at the Mandate market, attributed the high cost of food items to hike in transport fare.
Also, Mrs. Rukayat Sulaiman, who sells clothes at Oja-Oba noted that the level of customers patronage is low when compared to previous year.
She emphasized that only few customers come to buy quality clothes while others just pick anything for their children.
Those customers who could not afford the cost of ram however settled for chickens, which are being sold between N2,000 and N3,500 depending on the size.
A customer Mr. Usman Amuda noted that came to the market with N40,000 hoping to buy foodstuffs and perhaps buy a small ram but ended up buying chicken as the cost of items in the market are unbearable.
This medium also observed that most of the banks premises including their Automated Tellers Machine (ATM) points were congested as customers make last minutes withdrawal within the metropolis.
Meanwhile, there has been influx of passengers from various parts of the country into the metropolis. This has caused heavy gridlock in some areas like saw Mill, Unity Road, Offa Garage, Maraba, Sango among others.