By Francis Ojo
MARCH 5, 2021, IBADAN: TODAY, March 5, again represents one more journey in humiliation of the Yoruba nation by the Fulani. It also marks a day of shameful silence or acquiescence of our leaders, both political and traditional. I write this reminder in the hope that some responsible leaders will take up this injustice and insult and refuse to swallow them on behalf of the people before a new ‘Sunday Igboho’ comes again to the rescue.
Because, of recent, the vacuum of Yoruba leadership has been on display on the pedestal of ignominy. The performance of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State in demonstrating proper image during this Igangan and Shasha tests and the stark insularity and utter detachment from the people of Ogun State, whose governor has been absent from duty since swearing in, is to say the least, most embarrassing.
Power show and disgrace
The blueprint of the power show and disgrace of the Yoruba by the Fulani-led Federal Government implemented during the Ile Ife Yoruba Hausa crisis was copied and is being implemented, word for word, letter for letter and figure for figure.
The Police paraded seven Yoruba men in court…, using a Yoruba prosecution counsel, Foluke Oladoshu. The charge sheet alleged that these seven men account for the death of 31 persons. They are also charged for allegedly burning the houses of fellow Yoruba men: Adelabu Ibrahim and Osuolale Akindele. Not one Hausa Fulani was arrested, not one was charged, and as this goes, seven Yoruba men have allegedly killed and destroyed fellow Yoruba property and killed 31 in a fracas between Hausa Fulani and Yoruba. It was as if the Fulani and Hausa did not exist in Shasha.
Afenifere, The Saving Grace In Ile Ife
Flip back to March 29, 2017 when Yinka Odumakin, on behalf of Afenifere, came to the rescue by announcing the setting up of a formidable legal team of eight senior advocates, working pro bono, to do battle against a similar ethnic discrimination, humiliation and injustice. Oba Ademola Ademiluyi, was joined with many young Yoruba men in Ife and paraded like common criminals accused of the killings and burning of property at Ile Ife.
All the Hausa Fulani initially arrested had been released without charge. Not one word of protest from the governor of Osun State, at the time, Governor Aregbesola. None from the then senator representing Ife, Senator Omoworare. No Yoruba Oba said a word. It was akin to the silence on the Fulani herdsmen killing of Olufon of Ifon.
Just like in 2017, Rabiu Kwankwaso and Internal Affairs Minister, General Dambazau perched imperiously on Ile Ife, so also Shasha. Before this arraignment, four Northern governors, … rushed to Ibadan, yanked confused and frightened Governor Makinde up from his lofty seat, exactly the way Rabiu Kwankwaso did to then Governor Aregbesola to frighten the people in their homes.
Governors Sani Bello of the beleaguered Niger State, Governor Bello Matawalle of the bandit-tormented Zamfara State; Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State and Abubakar Ganduje of Kano State had landed on Ibadan, ignored the traditional homage to His Royal Majesty, the Olubadan of Ibadan and proceeded to the so-called ‘Palace’ of Seriki Shasha. Like a touring presidential team, they held a two hour ‘Town Hall’ meeting at Shasha with Governor Makinde tagging along like their protocol officer. Fulani humiliate us in the South, but our governors demean us more in their presence. Hence, the lack of respect for us, our leaders and traditional rulers.
I am recalling the events of four years ago, almost on the dot of the clock, Fulani Hausa versus Yoruba crisis to explain the insults repeated with complete disregard.
Dateline: March 9, 2017, Ile Ife
Tiny pockets of tension had manifested since Buhari became President. Ife Sabo community market had worn a new coat of arrogance, courtesy of Northern settlers, periodic merchants from far North and other itinerant traders. The Hausa-Fulani community had begun to assume a new air of inflated and insulting attitude. Confidence in their new status had prompted some of the men to start “toasting” Yoruba married traders, making cat-calls at those who refuse their insulting advances.
It all started on March 8, 2017 between a Hausa kolanut trader in some confrontation with a robust and flirty Yoruba woman over matters suspected to be “seriously private”. The man slapped and beat her up. The intervention of Yoruba traders and passersby was all Northerners needed to teach their hosts a lesson about the powers they have now acquired vicariously from Abuja.
It had been obvious, judging from the body language of President Buhari that the Fulani was not only in government, but that all Muslim core Northerners are now in power! And Sabo market “Mallams” were fully in the mood to exhibit and exercises it by throwing contempt at whoever is in doubt.