KEHINDE Victor, ILORIN
The frontage of the palace of the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, was deserted yesterday following the abrupt cancellation of this year’s Ilorin Emirate Grand Durbar.
The palace’s frontage was designated as the venue of the event.
It was learnt that indigenes and residents of Ilorin and other guests, who had anticipated and prepared to participate in the cultural activities, were shocked with the suspension of the event.
The Kwara State government announced the suspension of the festivity on Tuesday night sequel to the late intelligence report that some persons hatched a plot to cause breakdown of law and order at the venue.
The Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Communication, Mrs Rabiat Mopelola Abdulrahman, issued a statement announcing the suspension of the event on behalf of the state government.
Our correspondent,,recalls that the Ilorin Emirate Durbar Committee under the chairmanship of Engineer Suleiman Yahaya Alapansanpa, had earlier chosen the Emir of Ilorin’s Palace as the new venue for the event after it was changed from the Ilorin township stadium.
A visit to the palace of the Emir of Ilorin around 12:42am today (Wednesday) showed that the massive canopy pitched at the spot designated for the event was completely deserted.
While some men of the company, Deluxe Entertainment, which was contracted for the canopy and other related facilities were seen wandering about, others sat quietly at one of the entry gates to the Ilorin Central Mosque, looking dejected.
Officials of another firm, Westend, contracted for televising the event live within the venue were also sighted sitting down and brooding over the development.
The Disc Jockey engaged for the event was also seen packing big speakers and other facilities into a waiting vehicle.
As of the time of departing the palace, no member of the Ilorin Emirate Grand Durbar Committee was available for comment on the abrupt suspension of the cultural event.
It was, however, observed that policemen in about four patrol vans were stationed at the entry point into the palace of the Emir of Ilorin while operatives of the Department of State Services were also sighted in their official hilux van at the frontage of the palace.
Except for those who have business in the palace with plausible reason, the stern looking policemen did not allow every other person entry.
This reporter was only allowed into the frontage of the palace after the presentation of official identity card and adequate explanation.
When approached, one of the policemen told our reporter that they were acting based on the instruction that people without genuine business should not be allowed into the premises.
However, some people including palace staff sighted during the visit, formed clusters and discussed the Durbar cancellation in hushed tones.