By Kayode Emola
Many of us watched the recent riots that took place in South Africa between 9 – 17 July and the devastating effect it left behind. This sort of event occurs when a people have been neglected for a very long time. It is very evident that the poor masses of South Africa do not feel as being a part of the wider community as they have been left behind by the well to do in the society. One striking thing to note is that the riot started from Kwazulu-Natal, which is the home town of the former President Jacob Zuma. It would be expected that when someone is in office, they will use their good office to create employment opportunities for their people. It would appear this is not the case as the magnitude of the riot indicated that this people looked as though they have been neglected for almost a century.
Understandably, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit some countries harder than some others. Expectations from modern leaders of South Africa having suffered from so many years of apartheid would have been to empower the people who fought for freedom to better their lives. This is definitely not the case as our African leaders only care about one thing which is to steal as much as possible whilst they are in office as though government affairs are their personal family affairs. There is no doubt that it is the poor masses who will pay the ultimate price for this riot, either through more deprivation, starvation and most unfortunately the loss of lives.
A reflection of the events that happened in South Africa should make one wonder if Africa leaders have brains to decipher the challenges of their environment. The western leaders are already analysing the events and what it would mean for their countries. However, African leaders and especially Nigeria government have not taken a cue from the fact that the people they govern really matters if events like the once in South Africa is to be averted in our land. The Nigeria situation as it stands now is so worse that Nobel Laurette Prof. Wole Soyinka in a recent interview with Arise TV stated that Nigeria is on a suicide mission. He went further to state that the imbalance of Nigeria government is so lopsided that if Nigeria doesn’t decentralise as fast as possible, there will be no Nigeria very soon according to political, economic and other experts in several fields of endeavour.
In echoing the words of Prof. Wole Soyinka, I believe that Nigeria is now on a collision course with itself. The northerners have now realised that their one Nigeria mantra no longer washes with anyone anymore as everyone knows that Nigeria cannot ever be one. The Yoruba people continue to enjoy the homogeneity that binds our common purpose in the face of oppression and are not willing to give away our civilisation. We continue to defy the odds both home and abroad, excelling beyond our capabilities through hard work and respect for human dignity. The Nigeria government on the other hand has repeatedly dehumanise its workers by stating severally that it cannot afford to pay minimum wage in the face of rising inflation but on the other hand are able to buy Hilux jeeps for repentant terrorists. This same government goes as far as arresting innocent Yoruba agitators for peacefully requesting a country of their own through self-determination. Perhaps the Fulani people need a reminder that the Yoruba people as far back as 1950 have been clamouring for their own country before Britain tactfully gave us self-rule which birthed the Nigeria independence in 1960.
The northern Nigeria in their usual blackmail has resulted in their dishing out threats that the Presidency will not come to the south in 2023 due to several resolutions passed the seventeen southern governors. This resolution which cannot all be enumerated here has come about as a result of the continuous protests by Yoruba agitators all over the world. The Yoruba people have demonstrated that we cannot be in the same country with people who do not believe in the rule of law. Had Nigeria been governed by the rule of law and not the rule of clan, perhaps the Yoruba people would have had a second thought. However, the double standard being adopted by the northern oligarchs where there is one rule for the Fulani and another rule for the others makes it untenable for Nigeria to be one entity
We can recall that Buhari had previously boasted in the 2011 general elections that he doesn’t need the south to become president. His tactics boomerang seriously when he was humbled at the general elections by Goodluck Jonathan and He (Buhari) had to come to the same South westerners that he despised in other to win the presidency in 2015. The northerners know fully well that the Yoruba people are the heartbeat of Nigeria and whatever we decide is what actually happens in Nigeria. It makes one wonders how the north thinks it can play the divide and rule tactics, the British handed over to them in a modern Nigeria. The north in trying to play smart are now looking to use the 2023 elections as a bait when it is obvious that the north can never and has never been united.
If we go down memory lane and juggle our memory, we will recall that Shagari’s presidency was as a result of a Yoruba man. IBB, Abacha and even the current president Buhari’s presidency were also as a result of the Yoruba people. It would therefore be unwise to think that the Yoruba people will fold our arms in a country where we contribute more than half of the internally generated revenue to become a second or even third rated citizen. The Yoruba people after careful analysis and extensive studies have come to a conclusion that Nigeria is no longer tenable. The world also knows what is going on in Nigeria that if you are from a particular tribe, your past, present and future sins are forgiven. However, if you are from a different tribe other than the Fulani tribe, then even the sins of your fathers would be required of you.
The Fulani people thinks that the Yoruba people are not aware of their antics, however we know that the Islamization agenda currently being pursued in Nigeria today is not a northern agenda, it is an ethno-religious agenda that has nothing to do with religion. It is an agenda been championed by the Fulani people and are using the minorities in the north as their tool. The Yoruba people are definitely not stupid as we continue to look patiently at the events unfolding in Nigeria. The Fulani clan can themselves attest that it is Yoruba money that has made them who they are in Nigeria. To think you can bite the finger that feeds you and still think you will cry for help in the day of hunger will be mistaken. This is why the Yoruba proverb translated into English say, ‘A river that forgets its source will soon dry up’. It is now evident that the minority Fulani people in Nigeria have forgotten that their source of wealth has actually come from the Yoruba people they despised. We the Yoruba people must now intensify the call for a Yoruba nation as we have done this last year. We must not relent in our pursuit to fight for our total freedom from those who do not share our values.