The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has faulted the Kwara State government for dissolving the Oyun and Offa
local governments in the state in the wake of the communal crisis between Erinle and Offa communities, describing
the dissolution as a knee-jerk response to a deep-rooted problem.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the
government’s action also risks aggravating the crisis, especially as the people of Offa local government, the only council
controlled by the ACN in the state, are bound to interpret the government’s action as being aimed at depriving them of the
leadership they have willingly voted into office.
It said the Kwara State government either acted in indecent haste in dissolving the councils or decided to cash in on the crisis
to neutralize what it awesome popularity and acceptability of the ACN, considering that judgment is still being awaited on the ACN’s
appeal against the election tribunal’s award of the council to the PDP, and being acutely aware that any fresh election ordered
in the local government will be swept by the ACN.
”We at the ACN will like to say unequivocally that the Kwara State government was wrong in dissolving the councils because it
has not been found that the crisis erupted due to any act of omission or commission by the council chairmen or officials. Also, when
the same measure was adopted following a crisis between the communities in 2006, it did not resolve the crisis, otherwise it would
not have recurred.
”Thirdly, if these communities, which have been living together peacefully for over 300 years, only started attacking one another just
about 30 years ago, shouldn’t the government have been more interested in what led to the crisis instead of descending on the two
councils as if doing that will resolve the crisis?” ACN queried.
The party therefore urged the government to immediately rescind this decision and embark on an all-inclusive effort designed to get to the root cause of the
communal clashes between the two brotherly communities, instead of using it to deprive the people of Offa a popular and people oriented government Offa.
”This all-inclusive action must be pivoted by traditional rulers, community leaders and all the other stakeholders, because these are the
people who can help resolve the problem, not a government that is perhaps more interested in political expediency rather than a genuine
resolution of the crisis,” it said.
ACN noted that when a more serious crisis occurred between the Share and Tsaragi communities of the same Kwara State last year,
the state government did not dissolve the affected Ifelodun local council, further calling to question the timing and rationale behind the
decision to dissolve Oyun and Offa local councils.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
National Publicity Secretary
Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)
Lagos, Feb. 4th 2013