Kwara State police command says it has deployed no fewer than 2,500 police personnel to combat plans by some disgruntled elements, who want to disrupt the Eid el-Kabir and Durbar celebrations in the state.
Speaking at a meeting of all principal security agencies in the state with political leaders in Ilorin, the state Police Commissioner, Mr Aminu Saleh, said that the command had identified three modes of dressing to look out for among the hoodlums.
Other security agents represented at the meeting include Department of State Service (DSS), the Nigerian Army and Civil Defence Corps.
The political leaders at the meeting were made to sign an undertaking committing them to bear the brunt of any of their members caught fomenting violence during these events.
“Feelers have it that the Sallah will be disrupted. We want to inform you that we are looking and we are watching. We already identified three modes of dressing that we will look out for.
“It was discovered that the plot is being coordinated by top politicians of the major political parties in the state. Checks also indicated that preparatory for the offensive, they have concluded to hire mercenaries from within and outside the state to meet at designated points.
“We have intercepted a vehicle loaded with knives. I don’t know whether they needed these knives to come and slaughter rams in Ilorin.
I am sure every household has a knife to slaughter his animal. We don’t need fresh knives here. We don’t want to lose the life of anybody for the purpose of Sallah and durbar celebrations.
“We are sounding this note of warning for those of them who are bent on disrupting the celebrations. They must take this warning very seriously as we are not going to compromise any disruption of both celebrations.
“We cannot allow the existing harmony in the state to get ruptured by the proposed strife by disgruntled politicians.
The police cannot shy away from its constitutional duty to provide safety and security to all deserving citizens that conduct themselves within the limit of the law so also will the police deal decisively with anyone that tries to disrupt the joyful moments”, he said.
Mr Saleh also cautioned against hate speech, adding that “words that are intended to insult, abuse, humiliate, offend, make unhappy a person or group of people because of political variance, religious belief and ethical differences should be avoided”.
Aligning with her counterpart, state Director of DSS, Mrs Arthur Worrey, said, “We are sounding this warning because anyone caught will face the music. We will not listen to begging. Let us all do what is expected of us”.