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Don’t link me with cultists, Ahmed tells police

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•I didn’t orchestrate their arrest, says Lai Mohammed

Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin

Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has described as false and misleading, insinuations linking him and Senate President, Bukola Saraki, with suspected cultists arrested in Ilorin, the state capital.
The Nigeria Police Force has transferred the cultists to Abuja.

Governor Ahmed, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Dr Muyideen Akorede, said neither him nor the senate president or any of their aides have links with the suspected cultists or their alleged activities.

He also denied knowledge of or any intention to harm any individual, as the leadership in the state has never used violence as a political tool.

The state government referred the public to the parade of the suspects by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Aminu Pai Saleh, on Thursday, May 10, in Ilorin, where he announced that the suspects were arrested for alleged murder and membership of cult groups, but did not mention any confessional statement linking their activities to any sponsors.

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.

He 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 assumption of office last month.
Ahmed warned that cultism is a serious security challenge which should neither be trivialised and turned into a political tool nor be treated with levity.

He urged well-meaning Nigerians to disregard any attempt to politicise cultism, but focus, instead, on joining hands with the state 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.”

Regardless, Minister of Information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has vehemently rejected an accusation by Kwara South Youths Stakeholders that he orchestrated the recent arrest of some youths in Kwara South senatorial district by the police.

In a statement by his Special Assistant, Segun Adeyemi, yesterday, Mohammed insisted he hadnothing to do with the arrest of the youths.

He said contrary to an allegation by the stakeholders, the arrest had nothing to do with the ward congress in his hometown of Oro.

“The minister wishes to state that the police, in the exercise of its constitutional responsibility, does not need to be goaded by anyone to carry out arrests where necessary.

“Concerning the outcome of the election in his Oro Ward 2, the minister has made his observations on the conduct of the election known to the appropriate party authorities, in line with his strong belief in the rule of law.

“Suffice it to say, however, that the only credible ward election was the one held by the genuine party members in Oro Ward 2.

“That explains why, after the election, there was a rally around Oro town, that eventually terminated in the country home of the minister.

“He does not believe there is any linkage between the election and the arrests,” he said.

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