By David Adenekan.
There is no doubt to a large extent that the Yoruba nation is deeply under the influence and control of traditions, values and moral standards despite their inherent intellectual capacity. This influence and the control of traditions, values are placed under the supervision of the traditional institutions. The traditional leaders derive their powers from their subjects through their loyalties and obeisance. The leader of this traditional institution is a king, while the order of authority flows from him to the Baale or chief, to the head of a clan, from the head of a clan to the head of the family and down to the family units. Unfortunately, in recent times, this age long institution has been decimated by the emergence of a strong and virile political class.
The underlying question is, how do we situate this age-long tradition with the right to self preservation that is declared by the United Nations charter for human rights of 1948? This has brought to the fore the recent travail of Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho or (Igboho Oosa) to fight for the survival of his people and deliver them from the marauding Fulani herdsmen that have taken over their territories and Oyo state in general. Bearing in mind that the right to self preservation is the first law of nature, his fight for self determination has made him to be in conflict with the traditional institutions that intend to suffocate and truncate his heroic efforts to liberate his people from the hands of terrorists (herdsmen/marauders) who are desperate to take over our ancestral lands.
Going down the memory lane and viewing from historical perspectives on leadership crisis, Oduduwa the progenitor and paramount king of Yoruba race did not get the support of all the people to ascend the throne but still led the Yoruba people to defeat the militia and brought lasting peace to the land. The leadership crisis between Oduduwa and Obatala (a powerful deity) divided the Yoruba race and the division is still rearing its ugly head till today. For example, many Yoruba speaking people believe they are not descendants of Oduduwa. A case study of the people of Olu Ugbo in Ondo state believe they are the true aborigines of Yoruba land and that Oduduwa met them in Ile Ife when he arrived. Also, the people of Ijebu Ode believe they migrated from Wadai and they are not a direct descendant of Oduduwa.
Another historical dilemma was the case of the sage and indefatigable leader of Yoruba, Chief Obafemi Jeremiah Awolowo. He was in a power tussle with the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Adeniran Adeyemi II, a very powerful first class traditional king, that was eventually banished from the throne and was in exile till he joined his ancestors. Chief Obafemi Awolowo was not initially accepted as the natural leader of Yoruba race until all the Yoruba members of NCNC in the defunct western region parliament decamped to Action Group (AG) when they suddenly realized the inherent danger of allowing a non Yoruba man to be the premier of the old western region.
Furthermore in 1993, Chief Moshood Abiola was betrayed by the traditional institutions and the political class during the annulment of June 12 election. Chief Olusegun Mathew Okikiola Obasanjo, a prominent Yoruba figure and former President punctured the struggle and said “Abiola is not the messiah”. Other political gladiators in Yoruba land jettisoned the struggle for the enthronement of democracy and joined the Abacha military regime without apology.
In the fourth republic, Bola Tinubu and his cabal betrayed Chief Abraham Adesanya of blessed memory and decimated the power and influence of Pan Afenifere Yoruba social cultural group.
Is it not politically correct to say the emergence of Sunday Igboho and the dangerous opposition is in Yoruba DNA? “Afi ote ati iwa odale yi na ni sa”. This is interpreted as deceit, betrayal, back biting, dishonesty, unhealthy competition and complicity are some of the bad attributes we found among the Yoruba race. “Yoruba Ronu” or “Yoruba Think should be our watchword
The question is, will Chief Sunday Adeyemo (aka Igboho Oosa) surrender to the conspiracy of the traditional institution or constituted authority to the detriment of the survival of Yoruba race? The battle now is between life and death. It is also a battle between class interests and the survival of Yoruba race.
Succinctly put, since the inception of Buhari administration in 2015, the marauders posing as Fulani herdsmen had long been on a greater and violent rampage that have claimed thousands of lives, maimed many people, raped thousands of women, pillaged and destroyed many villages with impunity. Unfortunately, traditional rulers and political class in Yoruba land have not come with realistic solutions but resorted to empty talk shops and cosmetic resolutions that had never been implemented. The formation of an amorphous and toothless south west security outfit called “AMOTEKUN” has not been able to confront the well equipped terrorist group that has more sophisticated weapons.
It was former governor of Ekiti state, Chief Ayodele Fayose that took some practical efforts to flush out criminally minded herdsmen from his state, other governors in Yoruba land were just helpless and making empty threats with no practical action to nip it in the bud.
It is trite to say that Chief Sunday Igboho is the man of the moment and it will be counter productive to usurp the people’s movement that will stand a test of time.
Yes, Sunday Adeyemo may not be educated to refine and fine tune his public speaking but he is today the symbol for the emancipation of Yoruba race from Fulani’s domination and perpetual slavery. There are thousands of Sunday Igboho in Yoruba land but the god of our ancestors will only use those that are willing and ready. God asked Moses at the brink of crossing the red sea when his people were facing imminent danger from the marauding Egyptian soldiers. What do you have in your hands? Moses said, a rod. God said, use it to divide the red sea into two and it will create a dry land in the middle of the red sea for my people to walk on a dry land to safety and let the Egyptian army be drowned in the red sea. This metaphor is our today’s reality of Yoruba’s fight against the Fulani Herdsmen/Marauders that have turned our ancestral lands to a den of horror.
Yes, out of his uncontrollable impulse and outbursts, he angrily insulted Ooni Orisa, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and many Yoruba people frowned at the insult. However, in less than 48 hours, he immediately tendered his an unreserved apology to him but restated his commitment to the cause and urge others, Ooni Orisa inclusive, to present a united front to combat the menace,
In light of the above fact, we must not allow the friction from the traditional institutions and petty politics to rob us our right to self preservation in order to change the narrative.
In conclusion we must rally round Sunday igboho for the fight for the emancipation of Yoruba race and resist the strangulation and subjugation in Nigeria. Every legitimate Yoruba son and daughter must rally behind him to make this a lasting victory.
Oodua nation is loading……
Only time will tell.
Oodua agbe wa o.
David Adenekan writes from Chicago, Illinois.