FEEDBACK: From Ife to Shasha by Francis Ojo

Dateline: March 5, 2021, Ibadan
Today , March 5, 2021, 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, recently, the vacuum in Yoruba leadership  has been on display on the pedestal of ignominy. The cowardly performance of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State in  demonstrating proper image during this Igangan and Shasha tests, and the incompetence and stark insularity and utter  detachment from the people of Ogun State of that Governor of Ogun whose name I cannot remember now, because of his complete absence from duty since swearing-in, is to  say the least, most embarrassing. The blueprint of the power  show and disgrace of the Yoruba by the Fulaniled 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 today, using a Yoruba prosecution counsel, Foluke Oladoshu. The charge  sheet alleges that these seven men were responsible for the death of 31 persons. They were 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 properties  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 Yoruba young Ife men 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 Osun State at the time, Rauf 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 on the killing of the  Olufon of Ifon.

Just like in 2017, Rabiu Kwankwaso and Internal affairs minister, General Dambazau perched imperiously on Ile-Ife, so  also Sasha. Before this arraignment, four Northern governors, three of whom had their hands full of bandit killings and  atrocities in their domain, 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. Governor  Sani Bello of the beleaguered Niger State, Governor Bello Matawalle of the bandit-tormented Zamfara State, Governor  Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State and Governor Abubakar Ganduje of Kano State had landed in 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 Sasha, with Governor Makinde  tagging along like their protocol officer.

Fulanis 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,  ulani/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 General Buhari became President. Ife Sabo community  market had worn a new  coat of arrogance, courtesy of the 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 8th March, 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 passers-by was all the 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 Muhammadu Buhari that the  Fulani was not only in government, but that all core Muslim Northerners are now in power! And Sabo market ‘Mallams’  were fully in the mood to exhibit and exercise it by  throwing contempt at whoever is in doubt.

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