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The Hausa Fulani, the Yoruba and the slaughter in Ile-Ife (1)

I have been reluctant to write anything about the clash between the Yoruba and the Hausa Fulani in the ancient city of Ile-Ife and in which far many more people were killed than anyone cares to publicly admit.

I was reluctant because Ile-Ife happens to be the home of my ancestors and indeed my hometown and for four generations my family have had a stake there and have been making meaningful contributions to the affairs and development of the community. 

Consequently I have an emotional attachment to the town and when I hear that a son or daughter of Ife is in trouble or is in any way hurt or harmed it hurts me to the marrow.

This is because the Ife are more to me than just my kinsmen. I consider them to be part of my family and deep down, I love each and everyone of them whether they be friend or foe.

Yet despite all this, on this occassion, I am constrained to set emotion aside, look at the cold facts and write about this ugly and tragic episode.

I am compelled to do so out of a sense of loyalty, honour and morality. This is especially so given the fact that the victims in this conflict appear to have no voice and no-one appears to be ready to speak for them. I am ready to be that voice. I owe my people, history and posterity that much and I have no apology for doing so.

The crisis in Ile-Ife started when a group of Hausa Fulani men molested and physically abused a young Yoruba woman by the name of Kubura and almost killed her in the process.

She went home covered in blood and when her husband, Akeem (a leading member of the NURTW (in Ile-Ife) found out what she had been subjected to, he went back to the Hausa-Fulani quarters (commonly known as Sabo) with her in tow to find out why she had been subjected to such barbaric treatment and who the perpetrators were.

On getting there, instead of being received with sympathy and remorse the husband himself was viciously stabbed and almost lost his life.

After that, the Hausa Fulani in Sabo went on the rampage, killing many sons and daughters of Ile-Ife, their host community, and in the process they proceeded to behead a young Yoruba man and they  paraded his head on a pole through the streets. 

This infuriated the people of Ile-Ife and they retaliated by attacking the perpetrators. After that, all hell broke loose and many Hausa Fulani were killed.

I have been reliably informed that at the end of the day, approximately 300 Hausa Fulani were killed and buried in mass graves whilst over 70 per cent of the houses in Sabo were burnt down. The Ife lost about 30 in the conflict. This is a tragedy of monumental proportions for each and every one of us.

The casualty rate on both sides is unacceptable and I wholeheartedly condemn the taking of human life for ANY reason unless it is in self-defence.

As sad and tragic as this event may be, we must point the fingers at the right places and place the blame for the conflagration where it belongs. Many have failed in this respect.

For example, instead of blaming the aggressors for the crisis and the carnage and warning them to stop killing our people and raping and beating our women, Governor Rauf Aregbesola has been shamelessly begging the Hausa Fulani and saying such an attack would never take place again.

It is right and proper for him, and indeed all responsible leaders, to call for restraint, to sue for peace and to encourage people not to break the law or take the law into their own hands in the name of retaliation and I must commend the efforts of our most reverred traditional ruler, his Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11, in this respect. 

However, it is equally important for Aregbesola to condemn the aggressors, the wife-beaters, the rapists and the murderers and to tell them in simple and clear language that Ile-Ife, the source and cradle of the Yoruba race, or indeed anywhere else in Osun State or the South-West is NOT the sort of place that they can commit such atrocities and get away with it.

We are not Southern Kaduna or Agatu in Benue State. We find it difficult to sit by idly and watch our people being slaughtered in cold blood. And neither do we bow down before our oppressors.

There is something deep in the Yoruba spirit and soul and particularly that of the Ife that resists and rebels against injustice, brutality, barbarity and subjugation and the history of the Yoruba proves that.

We are slow to anger but irresistable in battle and the fact is that for one hundred years before the British colonial masters arrived on our shores we were fighting brutal civil wars against one another. 

We know the tragedy, the pain, the terror, the evil and the horrendous sacrifice that comes with war and conflict and though we avoid it as best as we can, we never shy away from it once it is forced upon us.

Worse still, the youth of Ile Ife, many of whom are veterans of numerous Ife-Modakeke wars, are hardened and battle-ready any day and any time.

This is indeed a potentially volatile and dangerous mix. In this respect relevant and insighful are the words of Oloye Gani Adams, the leader of the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), when he said, just yesterday, that “the Yoruba cannot be conquered!” 

And if anyone has any doubts about that, they should consider the sheer courage and unconquerable spirit of a loyal and faithful son of the Yoruba like Ayo Fayose, the Governor of Ekiti State.

This is where Aregbesola missed it. This is what he appears to have forgotten and this is what slipped his mind.

This is the point that he failed to appreciate and instead of doing so, he chose to tread the disgraceful path of servility and appeasement whilst sacrificing the lives and interests of his own people. 

Though I am a firm believer in the right of self-defence, I do not seek to incite anyone to violence and neither do I advocate, condone or encourage it in any shape or form.

I am simply stating the facts and pointing out that it is important to call an aggressor an aggressor and call a spade a spade.

My old friend, Senator Rabiu Kwakwanso, who is the former Governor of Kano State then entered the ring and made matters worse.

He went to Ile-Ife, met with the Hausa Fulani community and had the nerve and effontry to tell Aregbesola that our people must pay compensation for the killing of his people: Sounds familiar?

I remember General Muhammadu Buhari’s words to Governor Lam Adesina in 2001 when, after a conflict between the Hausa Fulani and the Yoruba in Oyo, he asked: “Why are your people killing my people?”

Kwakwanso came to Ile-Ife 16 years later, demanded an answer to the same question and asked for compensation!

What a gratuitous insult this is delivered at a time when everyone is suing for peace and calling for calm. If the truth be told, who should pay compensation to whom? Who is accomodating whom? Who did the attacking? Who killed first?

Who drew first blood? Whose land and soil is it and who are the guests and visitors? You come into a man’s house and enter his land and you start killing members of his family and people and then you ask him to pay you  compensation?

Does this make sense? How many people did the Fulani compensate after they slaughtered the indigenes of Southern Kaduna, Benue, Enugu, Abia, Delta, Taraba, Lagos, Plateau, Kwara, Kogi, Adamawa, Nassarawa, Niger, Edo, Ebonyi, Ondo, Ekiti and numerous other states in the country in their own land?

How many did they compensate after the sectarian and barbaric killing of Christians and southern Muslims all over the North over the last 56 years?

How many did they compensate after the pogroms, mass murder and genocide perpetuated against the Igbo all over the North just before the civil war in 1966?

Who should apologise and who should compensate who?

Honestly, I cannot stomach all this. It would have been better for Kwakwanso to start with an apology for the beating, raping, carnage and barbarity that his Hausa Fulani brothers indulged in and unleashed on their generous and accomodating hosts before the fighting started.

Do some people have a greater right to life than others in Nigeria? Is the blood of some more precious than the blood of others?

Do the lives of the Ife people mean nothing to these people? Does anyone not feel a deep sense of outrage about what the Hausa Fulani did and how this whole thing started?

Are we supposed to brush it under the carpet out of fear and our accursed desire for peace at ANY price?

How do we expect the woman that was beaten and whose husband was almost stabbed to death for attempting to defend her honour to feel? How do we expect the family of the young man that was beheaded and the families of the other Yoruba that were killed to take all this?

Are we not dancing on the graves of those that  were slaughtered for no just cause? What does that say about us as leaders and as a people? Are we not meant to defend the weak and stand up for the oppressed and the defenceless?

Do the people of Ile-Ife, a proud, gentle, kind and accomodating people with a rich and distinguished heritage, deserve to be visited with such violence from their guests and such contempt from their leaders?

To be continued

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6 Comments

  1. Dr. Uche Kalu 21st March 2017 at 2:26 pm

    The actions of those brave and noble sons of Oduduwa of Ile-Ife
    did send a dual message to all Nigerians:one to our neo-Colonialist Fulani Overlords, and the other to all Indigenous Qua (Kwa) people of Nigerian.
    The message to our neo-Colonialist Caliphate of Sokoto Overlords
    is that, they the Fulanis are aliens here in our Fatherland.
    And that we,Indigenous Qua (Kwa) people of Nigeria can jolly well rally round, hound and rout them out of our Qua ( Kwa) Fatherland.
    Of course, the Troglodytes or rather the Molochs, so called Fulanis, are alien sojourners here in our Qua (Kwa) Fatherland.
    And the message to all Indigenous Qua (Kwa) people of Nigeria, is that they must henceforth, borrow a leaf from our brave and noble Qua (Kwa) Yoruba cousins of Ile-Ife.
    We the Indigenous Qua (Kwa) people of Nigeria must be calling the tune here in our ancestral Fatherland, not those Molochs, the Fulanis from yonder.
    Last year, a handful of Igbo youths in Awgu Local Government Area, tried to rescue their women folks abducted by some Fulani herdsmen , only to meet a vicious response from the abductors.
    The fracas that followed ended in an utter humiliation and gross injustice to Awgu people.
    The Sheikh,that heads the MACBAN in Enugu State called on the
    Janjweed Armed and Police Forces,who invade the entire Awgu Local Government.Over 350 innocent Awgu youths were arrested and transport to a neighbouring Abia State and locked up for a
    fortnight before they were released on bail.
    The time is indeed ripe for a revolution in this moribund country of ours.It is about time we,the indigenous Qua (Kwa) people of Nigeria be compelled to rally round, once and for all, and to free ourselvés from the tyranny of our barbaric Hausa/Fulani Overlords of the Caliphate of Sokoto.
    Curse be upon those Qua (Kwa ) people of Nigeria,who convert into the religion of our Troglodytic Oppressors.Death to those Qua (Kwa) people of Nigeria,who give their daughters to marriage with the Molochs.
    The Fulani are not Nigerians but aliens sojourners here in our
    Fatherland.They are a permanent threat to our unity as a country.
    No to the status quo ante bellum!
    Down with Hausa/Fulani/Kanuri Islamic Hegemony!!
    Hail Biafra!!!

  2. Onyewuchi Nze 21st March 2017 at 6:41 pm

    If all Nigerians in leadership positions will call a spade, a spade, it will be well for Nigeria. May God give us more leaders who will call a spade, a spade.

  3. Kele 21st March 2017 at 9:47 pm

    What’s the continued insistence on one-Nigeria? There is no basis for unity at all in Nigeria. Since its creation by the British, the Hausa-Fulani has been massacring other ethnic tribes. Why can’t we save ourselves more massacres and death by dividing this evil contraption called Nigeria? Since Buhari became president about two years ago, thousands of Biafrans—Igbos, Ijaws, Ogoni, and others have been massacred – not counting the murderous activities of Fulani herdsmen and Boko haram. What sort of country is this? Please let us save ourselves another war by dividing it now because Nigeria has failed. It’s a fraud and fantastically corrupt empire. It’s needs to be divided!

  4. Peter Okeke 22nd March 2017 at 9:48 am

    The custom boss should resign if he is finding it uncomfortable to wear and be identified with the uniform of his office. He has no business there. As it stands I have not heard him say that he would resign if so compelled by the Senate to appear before them in his official uniform which is the right thing to do. There lies the contradiction of holding tight to an office that is beneath his status.

  5. Fred adejoh 22nd March 2017 at 10:53 am

    Many thanks to the man FFK. He is one man I respect so much when it comes to be bold and brazen. Having said that, there is an urgent need to stem the tide of happenstance, especially as it relates to the sudden rise in the orgy of wanton killing, destruction of lives and properties being perpetrated by the hausa/fulani across the length and breath of this contraption called Nigeria. The issue at hand is vexatious to the point that I ask myself, ‘ why do the other ethnic groups/ regions stand akimbo only to watch the nefarious activities and heinous crimes being visited on them? Is it out of fear that the Hausa/ Fulani threat is not matched word for word, fisticuff for fisticuff? Imagine a particular group against the rest of us? They are small fries! We need to alienate them from the map to give Nigeria a better meaning. We have been too quite and docile, hence the continued hostility, killings and progrom. Enough of this siddon look while our people are being slaughtered like animals. Why are we afraid? If your neighbor does not want peace, then give him war! Until and only until then would such neighbor treat you with respect. I dare say, let all the other groups in Nigeria borrow a leaf from the ile-ife crisis. For 6 years running, Syria is still involved in a civil war! South Sudan is also reeling from the same effect. Let us walk the talk for once.

  6. Dr. Uche Kalu 22nd March 2017 at 6:53 pm

    @Chief Fred Adejoh,my dear,the problem is that a lot of
    Nigerians are afflicted with an acute form of Stockholm
    Syndrome.
    Besides,our Southern Christian Political Leaders are too greedy
    to give a damn about the ongoing daily slaughter of innocent Nigerians by the Hausa/Fulani muslims.
    Our Christian Leaders are too busy looting and sharing the proceeds of
    our vast N’Delta oil and gas revenues with our Hausa/Fulani Overlords.They are wont not to dare speel the apple cart.
    The basic fact of the matter here,is that Islam is the Qur’an and
    the Qur’an is Mohammed the Prophet.
    Mohammed the Prophet was a war-lord, a bandit, a terrorist and
    a very very bad man.
    Therefore, all followers of Prophet Mohammed,so called muslims,
    are all potential terrorists.
    It is Islam that inspired the 11th September 2001 terrorist attack in New
    York,Bali,Dar-es-Salaam,London,Madrid,Mumbay and Nairobi bombings
    too.
    The Terrorist Groups; the Abu Sayeff,Al Qaeda,Al Shabaab,Boko Haram,
    Hamas,Hesbollah,Huthis and the Talibans are all fulfilling their Jihadist
    obligations.
    Jihad is one of the tenets of Islam.All true believers are called upon to
    take up arms and to slaughter the infidels, untill all human beings in the world are subjected to the will of their god, called Allah.
    So,all Fulani muslims,and their Hausa/Kanuri mongrels and willing-
    tools are potential Jihadist killers.
    Therefore ,the onus is upon us Indigenous Nigerians,to cleanse our
    Fatherland of the Fulani barbrians and savages.
    The Fulanis are not Nigerians but sojourners from the Saharas of Chad,
    Ethiopia,Mali,Niger and Sudan.They must be hounded, routed and must be sent packing to the lands of their fathers yonder.
    No to the status quo ante bellum!
    Down with Hausa/Fulani/Kanuri Islamic Hegemony!!
    Hail Biafra!!!

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