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Emir of Ilorin breaks silence on hardship protest video

The Emir of Ilọrin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari on Sunday reacted to a viral video of protesters who allegedly stormed his palace to protest the ongoing…

The Emir of Ilọrin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari on Sunday reacted to a viral video of protesters who allegedly stormed his palace to protest the ongoing economic hardship in the country.
In the 26-second video, a large crowd was seen at the front of the Emir’s palace shouting “Ebi npalu” (there’s hunger in the community).
The video, which was widely circulated on many social media platforms, including WhatsApp groups on Saturday, attracted several comments from citizens and netizens.
Some residents had also expressed reservations about it, coming a few weeks after similar protests in neighbouring Niger State and other parts of the country.
A resident of Oja Oba, a stone’s from the Emir’s palace, Alhaji Oba Daudu, told Daily Trust that he hurried down home from GRA when he saw the clip on social media.
“It was a very disturbing and confusing development. I was at GRA when I saw it and rushed down home only to see that there was nothing of such at the front of the palace.
“People can be very dubious and evil and you would want to ask why creating such panic in the polity,” he added.
Also, a staff member of the palace who simply identified himself as Abdul, said “There was no such protest at the front of the palace on Saturday. None that I know of.”
A female police officer at the ‘C’ Division, Oja-Oba told our correspondent that “Although I was not at work on Saturday, none of my colleagues brought such development to my attention”.
Commenting on the viral clip, the Emir of Ilọrin and chairman of Kwara State Traditional Rulers Council, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, said the video “was part of the events witnessed during the build-up to the 2019 general elections in the state.”
He appealed for calm and advised the general public to disregard the video in circulation.
Sulu-Gambari, who spoke through his spokesman, Mallam Abdulazeez Arowona, said the call became necessary to avoid misrepresentation of the scenario vis-a-vis the location of the gathering as reflected in the video.
He pleaded with the people of Ilorin and Kwara State at large to remain peaceful and prayerful.
The statement read in part, “We want to state categorically that the said video was part of the events that characterised and witnessed during the build-up to the 2019 general elections.
“The video does not have any connection with the current situation in the country. Recall that on such occasions, the Emir always expresses his concern on the need to ensure that peace and harmony continue to prevail in society.
“At the height of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the emir expressed high level of concerns and joined governments at all levels in the campaign towards ensuring that the unfortunate situation was contained while he also played frontline roles in championing the pains and interests of the masses during the scarcity of naira which inflicted hardship nationwide with no exemption to anyone irrespective of social, political and economic status.”
On the current economic hardship, the Emir said he and his colleagues at the Kwara State Traditional Rulers Council are engaging government at all levels on the need to continue to improve on the welfare and security of the people of the state, commending the state government for being responsive to masses-oriented issues.
“We thereby appeal to the general public to disregard the video in order to avoid any misrepresentation of the scenario vis a vis the location of the gathering as reflected,” it added.

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