I have just read one Iliyasu Gadu’s very provocative, verminous diatribes against the Yoruba people titled “Restructuring or Secession, what does the Southwest really want ? “
The piece which is largely anchored on a flawed premise about the irreversible validity of a conquered territory is the best explanation why everyone should be wary about the ambitions and the agenda of those who presently administer the Nigerian space.
I was once resolved in conscious moderation about the banditry, the murderous primitivism of the Fulani herdsmen, the inexplicable migration of young men into the Yoruba heartland, the sudden eruption of hordes of motorcyclists of northern extractions in Lagos, the growing swarm of illicit characters hibernating beneath the bridges, believing these are but lunatic fringes, unrepresentative of the will of the arbiters of the Nigerian state.
I must now reverse myself. If Iliyasu who is apparently of the elite stock from the North can write in illogical triumphalism of northern conquest of some parts of the Yorubaland in chest beating arrogance, then I must infer that there is a well calibrated resurgence of an undisguised mission to finalise a narrow ethnic expansionism and the appropriation of the Yoruba space.
Iliyasu has little knowledge of history which makes him incredibly dangerous. He is woven in inexplicable animadversions against Yorubaland. He distorts the Yoruba common ancestral beginnings as a myth, eclipsing Oduduwa as a fable, ridiculing the Yoruba people as largely fractious, riven by wars, ungovernable, sundered into fissiparous entities before the British forced upon them the peace of the gunboat.
Absolute twaddle. The Yoruba, dispersed and widened in spatial applications, had been a nation-state long before the emergence of the Oyo Empire that Iliyasu falsely illustrated as the beginning of Yoruba signification.
Salient Fact: The Yoruba people are sprung from common origins. They have shared values, shared destiny and shared cultural identities. From the shores of Lokoja to Port Novo, the Yoruba are woven in common usages, in the unity of mores, in normative traditions and in one universal language that may be accented from one place to another but absolutely comprehensible to all true sons and daughters of Oduduwa.
Salient Fact: The British did not favour the Yoruba with any advantages. The opposite is the truth. The Yoruba are naturally borne upon intrusive, bold, relentless knowledge- seeking. They are audaciously entrepreneurial, forever questing for wisdom, challenging the odds, grappling with strewn hurdles of fate with stable, steadfast, unwavering spirit.
Invariably, having broken the barriers of life, they graduated into the pioneering naturalness in virtually all fields of human endeavours from Medicine, Law, the Sciences, Technology, the Arts, Mercantilism and far into many innumerable spheres of human encounters.
Iliyasu writes in glowing triumphalism about an artificial Caliphate which, we all know, was created and enforced by terror while deriding the Yoruba land as an orgy of slave traders and marauding taskmasters. Cruel distortion! Was it not the dubious Araby that first intruded upon our shores through Mali who introduced slave trade long before the arrival of Britannia? And we know who shares affinity with Araby !
In his scathing conclusion, Iliyasu amplifies the unenlightened falsity that the north wields some sovereign primacy over everyone else and, therefore, decides where power and relevance swing. He insists that the Yoruba are only wrapped in tantrums in the creation of the Amotekun initiative because of 2023 presidency. This unreflective crudity is a desperate and malicious alienation of the Nigerian state.
Pray, is this how you weld and mold a nation in balanced firmness? Iliyasu’s grandstanding, his errant distortions and crude magnifications of his section of the Nigerian space are the greatest rationale why Nigeria needs to be restructured on the pivot of equity, on the fairness doctrine, on the guidance of merit, on a leadership anchored on justice, indifferent to tribal or sectarian narrowness, resolved on rectifying the obvious wrongs, mending the broken places and healing the subsisting wounds. This is what the Yoruba people want.
Prince Uthman Shodipe-Dosunmu, author and journalist email@example.com