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Lagos – Ji ma sun

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Lagos is Nigeria, not even Abuja. While Abuja stands as the political capital of Nigeria, Lagos is the economic hub of not only Nigeria, but west Africa. Therefore, when Lagos sneezes, the whole of Nigeria catches cold, more reason Lagos needs to learn from history and be proactive on the issue of security, especially as concerned Fulani herders/farmers.

Ife-modakeke crises have further made us understand that in the course of harbouring refugees or settlers to promote unity of Nigerians in Nigeria, crises are inevitable, and if not well managed, it could be uncontrollable and will further lead to disunity in contrast to what it sets to achieved – “Oneness of Nigerias”

The first Ife-modakeke crisis started in 1835 and ended in 1849.

The crises wouldn’t have lasted up till 1849 if not for the invasion of Fulani Jihadists in Osogbo which was defeated in 1840. Even when at the time of the crisis, the attitude of Ife people have changed to the Oyo refugees (Modakekes) due the death of Okunade – a worrior from Ibadan killed by Oyo people, the Yorubas united in Ife to defeat the Fulani Jihadists.

It was after the defeat that the Ooni Abeweila created a settlement for the Oyo refugees which they named Modakeke.

Thus, Modakeke wouldn’t have been created in the first place despite that the Ife kingdom warmly accepted Oyo refugees after their ordeal in Oyo, if not that they partook in the fight against Fulani invasion. After the first crisis between Ife and Oyo refugees between 1835 – 1849, and the creation of Modakeke, there had been additional six (6) crises between the two groups which finally laid to rest in the year 2000.

So, history has made us understand that accommodating strangers to promote the oneness and unity of our nation has a tendency of breeding crisis for various reason despite that the people seeking asylum may have comparative advantage to offer. For example, among those factors that fueled crises between Ife-modakeke crises are land issues, Ife East Local Government issue, debate about Modakeke’s sovereignty or staying with Ife, masquerade (egungun) crossing into each
other’s territory and boundary disagreement.
Land issues have been causing feuds from time immemorial in Nigeria.

It had brought about intra-ethnic as well as inter-ethnic crises. The traditional rulers in southwest have been trying in wading into the intra-ethnic aspect, and to a large extent, they have been able to be agents of peace, even though they have their critics too. However, the inter-ethnic crises such as the ones in Oyo and other parts of southwest states are persisting as a result of the silencing of traditional rulers by the constitution of Nigeria.

The kings cannot authoritative defend their territories with mechanisms they are used to. They are handicapped. Their people are being kidnapped, killed, women raped, and still they are handicapped to wade into finding solutions. There cannot be peaceful coexistence if laws are obstructed. Let the kings take over their territories, and find lasting solutions to the problems facing them. Amend this constitution of division. It is problematic all way rounds.

The Alaafin of Oyo must be commended for staying behind his people and letting his voice to the presidency over the attitudes of Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Oyo. The bringing of Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba race freedon fighter and traditional human right activist into the matter should not be seen as a means to fuel more feuds. The people of Oyo should only be careful not to be used like the #endsars protesters. Sunday Igboho and his allies should define their operations and be well organized in terms of attack and defense.

It is only unfortunate that our traditional rulers in southwestern regions are waiting for the body language of the presidency before letting out their voices, more reason one should commend the bravery of the Alaafin.
Now that the inspector General of police has ordered the arrest of the freedom fighter, what message is that trying to pass? The federal government obviously want the people to find means to live peacefully with one another, irrespective of our differences in Language, tribe and religion.

How is that possible when farmlands are being destroyed, people are being killed after taking ransoms for kidnap, women are raped? If the yorubas are doing anything wrong that is making them angry, why not take the matter up instead of resulting to all these?
Lagos must be on the lookout. Lagos must not wait until attack is made. Lagos must be security conscious.

The suburbs of Lagos need to be named. The settlements of Fulani people in Lagos must be watched closely, especially the urban areas. Lagos must not sneeze, do we have the cure for cold?

Abiodun Awosanya

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