Gang violence was a status symbol in Ilorin in the 1990s and up till early 2000. They called it campus cultism but the exprience of Ilorin and its environ was more than mere youthful exuberance.
We lived under the perpetual heavy fear of attacks from these groups as they prowled and growled thirsting for human blood daily. In fact they became serious tools in the hands of the politicians and other stakeholders in Kwara state.
They were further promoted when one of them became a prominent member of the regime in 1999 and violence grew to become state art. These boys determined what political party one must belong and where party rallies must hold.
They hosted their gangs’ flags in the open and carried out intiations without restrains. They held night parties for their members without any facade. Their activities were no longer masked under any humble cloack.
They ruled the affairs of men in Kwara. There was a particular month when over forty , I mean 40 young men were murdered through gang clashes. They called it “counting”; gropus were killing to even number killed from each side.
A serving member of Kwara State House of Assembly was muredered by people believed to be these murderous guys.
Thank God I was secured by the operatives of DSS and a Yoruba Self-Determination Revolutionary soldiers when they came for me in April 2003.
I was very active in the politics of Ilorin South Local Government and by extension the whole state.
Saraki Oloye’s deadly gang was led by one Akaje who used a special cutlas. Same Akaje was latter murdered in Idi-Ape area of Ilorin in the manner Ajia was reportedly killed yesterday. While Bayo Ajia was a prominent name on the side of late Gov. Lawal’s group.
A special task force set-up to curtail the activies of these boys failed as the chairman of the task force , one Inspector Ajayi , was violently murdered by these gangs along Coca-Cola road in Ilorin.
Bayo Ajia was arrested and was sentenced to death at the Supreme Court but got pardoned by Saraki side.
“Ajia was shot dead and cut several times with machetes by four unknown men in Taiwo area of Ilorin, kwara state, yesterday.
Vanguard gathered that the assailants were said to have arrived the deceased workshop in a taxi cab around 4:15p.m. and met Ajia under the bridge, close to the State Stadium complex, where they shot him several times on his forehead and dealt several machete cuts on his lifeless body to ensure that he was dead.
It was furthered gathered that before passers-by could discern what happened, the assailants had jumped into their car and sped off.”
Such is life.
Written three years ago