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Can the Yorubas Ever Unite? – By Dr. Kunle Ojeleye

By Dr. Kunle Ojeleye | Calgary, Canada  | March 25, 2012 – On 18 March 2012, I read the shocking news of the “suicide” of Egba high Chief Oluwole Olumide in Ogun State, Nigeria.

Whilst I do not have any affiliation or special interest in Ogun State, and do not know any of the protagonists, Chief Olumide’s death and the circumstances preceding it were nevertheless quite shocking to me.  And my knee-jerk reaction was to start asking if the Yorubas can ever unite for peace and development.

We grew up being told two wrongs do not make a right. If concessions were given that ought not to have been given, should that lead to the complete destruction of all that a man has laboured for? The systematic destruction of all that Chief Olumide had laboured for all his life is akin to what the Yorubas call “Pipa Si Aiye” (Keep Him Alive But Make Him Dead By Destroying Everything That He Ought To Be Living For).

I see no difference between what has happened to Chief Olumide and the ugly faces of politics in 1983 in Modakeke, Osun State when brothers were killing each other for belonging to a different political party even though they both claim to be angling for the development of their town.

My summation of Governor Amosun so far looks like one who is bitter and pursuing a vendetta agenda for reasons best known to him. The attitude of his government to Stabilini Visinoni when the concessionaire started the rehabilitation of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway suffices as a pointer.

Chief Yomi Akintola was recently reported to have remarked that the disagreement between his father Chief Ladoke Akintola and Chief Obafemi Awolowo was senseless.

Olumide’s death is a warning signal of the political road the Yorubas are starting to tread again, a road that they have tread before that never brought them anything good. A road of self-destruction, littered with the burnt remains of edifices that once made Yoruba towns beautiful, and the graves of sons/daughters that used to and should still be bringing glory to their motherland.

In an age when our political and elected leaders in the South West are talking about re-integration but some of them at the same time seems to be hell bent on vendetta, failing to see the global/corporate benefit of the little achievements of people in opposing political camps but would rather destroy and ruin such for self-gratification, I do not see what high moral ground such leaders can occupy over the Boko Haram terrorists.

It does make me wonder if there is something Mimiko has seen that makes him bulk from fraternising too closely with other leaders in the South West. Furthermore, I ask myself if President Jonathan was not right in his description of “rascally” Yoruba leaders (but wrong of “hasty generalisation” by lumping all ANC leaders together as my Ife lecturer Prof. Dipo Fasina aka Jingo would say).

Until the Yorubas put their house in order, and learn to be at peace with each other regardless of individual political and religious affiliations/orientations, it is foolhardy to be talking of re-integration in an un-brotherly and non-fraternising society that the Nigerian South West has become.

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Posted by on Mar 25 2012. Filed under Articles, Columnists, Kunle Ojeleye, NNP Columnists, South-West. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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