Prominent traditional rulers in Igbominaland of Kwara State have expressed concern over the worsening security challenges in the area.
The rulers however gave assurance that concrete measures are being taken to check the indiscriminate influx of migrants into the area.
Chairman of the Igbomina Ekiti Traditional Rulers Forum and Olupo of Ajase Ipo, Oba Ismail Muhammed Atoloye II; the Olomu of Omu Aran, Oba AbdulRahim Adeoti; and the Elese of Igbaja, Oba Ahmed Babalola Arepo III, gave the assurances at separately.
They spoke in their palaces when members of the Executive Committee of the Igbomina Professionals Association (IPA), led by its President, Adebayo Atoyebi, visited them at the weekend.
The association had embarked on the royal visits to call the attention of the royal fathers to the security situation in the area and to suggest possible ways out of the menace.
Commending the IPA for deeming it fit to embark on the visits, the traditional rulers assured the association that they shared the same perspective with respect to security challenges.
At the Olupo’s palace, Oba Muhammed disclosed that the royal fathers were making serious moves to tackle the security challenges in their domains, saying, “We are already taking some steps to curb it”.
He said that the Igbomina Traditional Council had embarked on certain steps to stem the influx of immigrants.
“We have already entered into an agreement that those who have already settled on our lands are enough and that we don’t want any more of them here.
“If we cannot send those already here back, we would not allow any new settlers in our land,” he said.
The Olupo also told the Igbomina professionals that the royal fathers “are not relenting but with this your effort, we will look more inwards”.
“Any community that is devoid of security is in peril because that insecurity will eventually wipe out that community,” Mohammed added.
On his part, the Elese of Igbaja, Oba Babalola appealed to his fellow royal fathers to be wary of harbouring the settlers on their lands.
“They should not, because of a false feeling of population expansion, condone the influx because in the long run, these immigrants would be the undoing of those communities,” he said.
Babalola also congratulated the IPA for its initiative and pledged the support of the traditional rulers for its programmes.
Also, welcoming the IPA to his palace, the Olomu of Omu Aran, Oba Adeoti, commended the association for its patriotic concern over the development and security of the people.
“You have good intentions and lofty ideas that can help Igbominaland,” he said.
Adeoti advised Igbomina sons and daughters to take more active part in politics, pointing out that “if you really want to help Igbominaland, you need to join politics”.
The IPA President, Atoyebi, informed the royal fathers that the association, which is non-political, is made up of highly skilled and upwardly mobile professionals from different communities in Igbominaland of Kwara.
He said the IPA was set up with the aim of promoting unity and development among the federating communities.
Atoyebi disclosed that the association’s concern about the worsening security situation in Igbominaland necessitated its setting up of a standing committee on security.
He said the committee had done extensive work on how to curb the menace.
Atoyebi called for the support of Igbomina traditional rulers in checking the activities of migrants who were moving in large numbers into their domains.
Atoyebi also disclosed that the association had “identified the need to translate our vast arable land in Igbominaland to wealth through large scale mechanized farming”.
“We have been sensitizing our young ones about opportunities to create wealth with agriculture,” he added.
Also on the entourage were, Mr. Bashiru Adigun, National Secretary; Mr. Kunle Akogun, Publicity Secretary; Dr (Mrs.) Bolanle Saliu, Treasurer; Mr. Femi Adeniran, Financial Secretary; and Dr Sola Afolabi (BOT chairman).
Others were, High Chief Anifaloyin, Security Committee Chairman; Alabi Rasaq, Sikiru Aliu, and Bosede Adekunle.
The next leg of the visit will take the IPA delegation to other towns like Isanlu Isin, Share, Oke-Ode, Omupo and others.