Indigenes and communities in Moro Local Government Areas of Kwara State under the aegis of Moro Concerned Elders Movement (MCEM) have appealed to the state government to operate a uniform law that will treat and see Moro people as part and parcel of the state, in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The people, who protested against alleged marginalisation and manipulation of constitutional provisions of the people by the Ilorin emirate council, said that the plan was to suppress people of Moro council by the emirate.
Addressing journalists in Ilorin during the week, President of MCEM, Alhaji Isiaka Jimoh, said that the leadership of Ilorin Emirate laid claims to 'all lands in the entire council.'
"We use this medium to call on the state government to do the needful by urgently addressing the various issues we have raised and analysed, as so doing is not only worthy, but shall bring out the best in any listening and responsive government that is desirous to promote harmonious and all-inclusive governance within its territory", he said.
Reacting to the development, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari CFR, said that the allegations were libelous, condemnable, uncharitable and unwarranted, adding that the people were not legally competent to pursue any claim under any guise "due to the fact that they are not members of the state traditional council".
The Moro group, also demanded for, "the creation of Moro traditional council; beneficial utilisation of the five per cent deductible from the monthly federal allocation due to the council; stoppage of the diversion of the five per cent of the council allocation currently being remitted to the 'Ilorin Emirate;' immediate intervention of the various anti-corruption agencies through commencement of investigation to the alleged misapropriation of funds due to the local government from 2003 till 2015; future deductions of five per cent from the council to be remitted directly to the Moro local government traditional council.
Other demands include "immediate withdrawal of the district heads from the council in compliance with the Kwara state whitepaper of December 17, 1987; immediate return of the pre-1984 3rd class grading of both Ohoro of Shao and Oba of Jebba and immediate upgrading of the duo to first class status of their counterparts in other parts of the state".
He also enjoined the state government to address and correct all the alleged developmental deficiencies in the local government area so as to allow the people have a sense of belonging".
Scores of the protesters from different communities in the council carried placards with numerous inscriptions to express their grievances, saying that there was no historical evidence to support the emirate's claims.
The Emir of Ilorin, who spoke through the palace spokesperson and Magaji Nda of Ilorin, Alhaji Soliu Woru Mohammed, said the statement also exposed ignorance of the elementary history on which the Emirate was being governed.
"However, the current system of governance in Nigeria is the outcome of the numerous conquest and Jihad which predates the advent of colonial administration. There are 774 local governments across the country backed by the nation's constitution, any activity going on therein, is a product of the constitution which cannot be altered by anyone accept by legislative process which must also comply with historical facts.
"You cannot ask for what is not yours. Traditional rulers are born not made by anybody. The stool of the Emir of Ilorin is paramount and extends across the entire Emirate. Once historical accounts do not reflect your antecedents as a monarch, it will be out of place to be laying claim to what is not yours.
"About the issue of allocation, it is in line with the dictates of the constitution and the resources is usually channel towards the appropriate beneficiaries; the Alanguas, Magajis and Daudus who are the major components of the Emirate Council are serving as the Emir's Lieutenants in their respective domains.
"Members of the public are thereby advised to disregard the speculation and undue claims aimed at destabilizing the existing peaceful and harmonious working relationship in the Emirate.