I used to love and respect Governor Aregbesola even though we belong to different political parties.
I knew him to be a proud, strong, unrepentant and inspiring Yoruba nationalist who knew the history of the Yoruba inside out and who was ready to stand his ground and fight his corner with anybody at anytime in defence of the Yoruba cause.
Yet now it appears that all that has changed. Seven years in public office as Governor has softened him and made him lose his nerve, his edge and his fighting spirit.
One wonders what really happened to the fire-brand that we knew as “Ogbeni?” The old Ogbeni was strong but the new one is weak.
His love for power and desperation to foster and maintain questionable and futile political alliances at any cost and price has impaired his vision and beclouded his better judgement.
The old Ogbeni would never have compromised with the aggressors and purveyers of violence in this way and he would have called a spade a spade and been fair to all.
He would not have bent over backwards to appease the Hausa Fulani community and abandon his own people.
The truth is that though I still love Aregbesola I find it difficult to forgive him for refusing to rise up to the occasion and for not defending and protecting the people of Ile Ife and Osun state from the reckless adventurers that have humiliated, assaulted and afflicted them in the last few days.
He has refused to shelter and protect them from the evil scourge that seeks to subjugate them and turn them into village idiots and second class citizens in their own land.
We needed to be consoled and comforted for the outrage and wickedness that was visited on our people by the Hausa Fulani settlers but instead Aregbesola betrayed his own people, went on his knees and begged the aggressors and those that beat, raped and slaughtered them.
I despise anyone that bows and trembles before tyranny and those that take pleasure in killing the innocent in the name of faith, cows, cattle or some strange and misguided notion of ethnic supremacy.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the Leader of the Yoruba, once said, “Kaka ka dobale fun Gambari ka kuku roju Ku” which means “instead of a Yorubaman prostrating for a Hausa Fulani it is better to take courage and die”.
Have our leaders in the south west forgotten these heroic words so soon? Has Aregbesola lost his memory?
Since when have we had cowards as leaders in Yorubaland? Since when did we start fearing our own shadows and since when did we start speaking in hushed and muffled tones? Is political correctness more important than the lives of our people?
The truth is that Rauf Aregbesola has forfeited the right to lead Osun state and I pray that the Lord forgives him for dancing on the blood of the people of Ile Ife and wining and dining with the enemy.
Yet sadly the stinking mess does not stop there. I have been reliably informed by the spokesman of Afenifere, Oloye Yinka Odumakin, that up until the time of writing this piece only the sons and daughters of Ile-Ife, including notable traditional rulers, community leaders and other prominent men and women, have been arrested by the police and put in police cells in Osogbo, Ibadan and Abuja.
Not ONE person from the Hausa Fulani community in Ile ife has been detained by the police or security agencies up until now.
Given this, one wonders whether the 30 sons and daughters of Ile-Ife that lost their lives in the conflict commited suicide? One wonders whether they committed what the Japanese call “hari-kari”.
One wonders whether they slit open their own stomachs with a long sharp sword and spilled their own bowels all over the battle field.
I say this because no-one seems to be interested in bringing those that butchered them in the sanctity of their own homes and their own land to heel.
Such a selective application of justice can hardly be described as being reasonable or fair and surely that is not the way to foster better relations between the Hausa Fulani and the Yoruba in Ile Ife or elsewhere.
A note that was sent to me captured the mood rather well when the author said the following:
“There is no Yoruba person who has incited anything beyond putting our case across. We cannot keep quite when our people are being harassed and intimated. Barrister Gbenga Awosode,an Ife indigene has just been summoned to Abuja yesterday. As we speak no member of the Arewa community has been summoned. Our people have been killed on our land and on Arewa land over the years with no arrest made in history. We will not look for anybody’s trouble but if anyone look for ours he will get it double. Yoruba will not die on our knees. Any death that will kill us will meet us on our feet. But before we die……”.
The concern is clearly building-up and the anger is mounting.
Yet despite that the impunity continues. I say this because in the last seven days alone the Hausa Fulani have slaughtered scores of innocent people in Ile-Ife (Osun state), Buruku (Benue state), Arochukwu (Abia state), Malagum (Southern Kaduna) and Igbeti (Oyo State). Must we continue like this?
Our faith, identity and ethnic nationalities are under attack and are threatened with annihilation and you want me to accept it in the name of one Nigeria?
The fundamental question that we must all answer either now or later is as follows: if we cannot live together in peace and unity as one nation must we stay together by force?
Is the unity of Nigeria truly sacrosanct? And if the older generation believes that this is so must the younger generation believe so as well?
Never in the history of our country, other than during the civil war, has there been so much ethnic and sectarian blood-letting as there is today?
And it is the usual suspects and those that the late and great Chief Bola Ige called “the Tutsis of Nigeria” that always spark it off and attack others either in the name of their faith or in their quest to take over and forcefully seize the land of others or in the name of herding cattle and grazing cows.
When one considers this one is constrained to ask the following question: is it a crime to demand for the restructuring of our nation or for the peaceful and equitable dissolution of our very unhappy union?
Can we not at least attempt to be civilised and start learning from others? Must we continue to ignore the voices of our fathers, elders and reverred heroes like the great Pa Ayo Adebanjo and the gallant General Alani Akinrinade who saw all this coming many years ago and who urged us all to sit up and prepare for the worst?
Must everything here be by compulsion and by force? Must some of us be regarded and classified as field hands and slaves whilst others are described as being “born to rule?”
Is this not insulting to the majority? Is it not unacceptable? Is it wrong for people to exercise their God-given right of self-determination? Is that not the basis and the very essence of freedom and democracy?
The wave of ethnic nationalism rising throughout the world, including countries like Holland, the United Kingdom, France, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, Israel, Germany, Turkey, Austria and, increasingly, Nigeria cannot be resisted or played down.
And in Nigeria the more of our people that our collective ethnic oppressors kill, the more that wave will rise.
The right to take pride in our ethnicity and invoke the principle of self-determination cannot be denied.
We reject the concept of globalisation and the enthronement of a new world order. We reject the concept of an artificial, man-made, multi-cultural, multi-religious, mongrel mega-nation that is made up of ethnic and religious incompatibles.
We reject the notion that we must bury our ethnicity, forget our differences, arrest our development, discard our values and enthrone the idea of a strange and complicated hybrid nation where we are expected to live with and accomodate those that hate our faith, despise our people, scorn our values and that rape, maim and kill our loved ones and compatriots in the name of religion, conquest, land, cows and cattle.
The truth is that no force in hell or on earth can stop the rise and establishment of the sovereign state of Biafra, Oduduwa or any other ethnic nation that will one day be carved out of what is presently known as Nigeria.
This is what the German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler once described as “Mein Kampf”, meaning “my struggle”. This is my hope. This is my desire. This is my dream.
In conclusion I call for restraint from both sides in the Hausa Fulani and Yoruba conflict in Ile-Ife. I call for the restoration of peace and I pray that the souls of all those that were slaughtered rest in perfect peace.
God bless and be with the people of Ile-Ife and the Yoruba nation now and forever. (CONCLUDED).
Femi Fani Kayode