By DEMOLA AKINYEMI
Ilorin-Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has denied as false and misleading, insinuations linking him and Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki with the suspected cultists arrested in Ilorin, the state capital and transferred by the Nigeria Police to Abuja.
Governor Ahmed, said this in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Dr. Muyideen Akorede,in Ilorin Thursday and made available to journalists.
He said neither him nor the Senate President or any of their aides have any links with the suspected cultists or their alleged activities.
His words,”There is no link between the case in question with me and even the state government, the same with the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki .The case was very clear from the onset, so no one should link us”
Governor Ahmed therefore warned that cultism is a serious security challenge which should neither be trivialised and turned into a political tool nor be treated with levity.
“We should be very careful not to turn our dear country into a banana republic by just looking for anything to politicise. For us, and indeed any sane society, cultism is a very serious security challenge that no one should politicise” The statement stated.
He also denied any knowledge of or any intention to harm any individual as the political leadership in the state has never used violence as a political tool.
The statement referred the general public to the parade of the suspects by the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Aminu Pai Saleh on Thursday, May 10, 2018 in Ilorin, during which he announced that the suspects were arrested for alleged murder and membership of cult groups but made no mention of any confessional statement linking their activities to any sponsors.
Governor Ahmed described the alleged killings as the outcome of clashes between rival cults in the state as most victims have been identified by security agencies as members of cult groups.
The governor emphasised that the growing problem of cultism and cult-related criminalities formed the basis of his charge to the new Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Saleh to focus on ending the menace on his resumption last month.
According to him, “The state government sees cultism as a serious security issue requiring urgent attention and has accordingly amended the State Cultism Law to prescribe stiffer penalties for convicts and those who aid and abet them, besides providing operational support to all security agencies in the state in their fight against all forms of criminalities, including cultism.”
He therefore urged well-meaning Nigerians to disregard any attempt to politicise the menace of cultism but focus instead on joining hands with the government and security agencies to bring the menace to an end in the interest of public safety while allowing the rule of law and justice to prevail in the matter.