By: Femi Fani-Kayode
Mr. Kolawole Odetola, who I do not know and I have never met, wrote the
following contributuon and every Yoruba man and woman ought to read it.
This was not written by flesh but by the Holy Spirit and it is what I
have been saying for the last few years. He who has ears let him hear
what the Spirit of the Lord is saying.
I commend the author for his courage and I urge him to continue to sound
the alarm until it is heard in every nook and cranny of the South West.
The Yoruba elites will hate him for speaking this bitter truth just as
many of them hate those of us that have been speaking it for many years
but truth is truth.
Posterity and history will treat us kindly for having the courage to
speak it despite the scorn and insults that are often poured on us on a
daily basis and that we are often subjected to by those that cannot see
beyond their noses, that lack courage and that have decided that their
lot is best served by turning a blind eye to this great evil that has
beset us and seeks to destroy us, by being slaves and by selling their
people into perpetual servitude and bondage.
I welcome Odetola into the ranks of the heroes and I thank him for
standing at the gate and resisting the evil like brave Horatius in
Thomas Babington- Macauly’s famous 19th century poem titled ‘Lays of
Omo Oduduwa, read his words, SPREAD IT, LEARN FROM IT and PREPARE FOR
“It’s easy for rich and middle class yoruba’s including the radical ones
living comfortably in the big cities to dismiss the attempts by poor
yoruba’s in the countryside to defend themselves from state sponsored
terrorism (islamist herders) as tribalism or ethnic jingoism.
But the day these herders and fundamentalists take over Lagos (and one
day they will) -the only natural barrier for them; where they cant
‘graze cattle’ is the Atlantic ocean, the penny will drop and the urban
elite will wake up from their complacency – but by then it will be too
When that day arrives and these ‘herdsmen’ stop the yoruba educated
elite from clubbing, partying, Owambeing stop them listening to music,
force their wives jnto the hijab, stop them connecting to the internet,
behead them in public for ‘adultery’ and ‘ fornication’ and raise the
black flag of islamic fundamentalism over the 3rd mainland bridge,
resistance to the herdsmen will no longer be dismissed as tribalism as
it is now its the yoruba lower classes bearing the brunt of the assault
by these neo fascist armed gangs.
Then it will become a fight for ‘democratic rights’ new revolutionary
slogans will be coined, pasdionate speeches will be delivered at
international human rights seminars, NGO’s will spring up like mushrooms
– But by then it will be too late.
Now its the poor yorubas in the villages fighting for their land,
livelihoods and their very lives, a fight that doesnt concern the yoruba
middle classes as it doesnt impact their shiny office blocks in Lagos,
their access to social media and the glitzy banks where their money
resides. Its a tribal, ‘ethno nationalistic ‘sectarian’ struggle.
Ignoring the reality that the biggest danger to democracy in the country
today are the fundamentalists in the north call them what you will –
Boko Haram, ISWAP, Herdsmen , bandits.
They are different branches spouting from the same poisonous root.
They are armed, protected and indulged by a Nigerian state built by
British imperialism around the Northern fuedal Oligarchy, – the most
backward, the most reactionary and by a country mile, the most
retrograde ruling class on the African continent with a mindset frozen,
like an iceberg, in the 18th century.
What they are dishing out to peasants in Oyo, Osun and Ogun states will
one day be visited on the lawyers, doctors and journalists dismissing
the ‘tribal’ struggle in the yoruba countryside. If anyone believes this
is about ‘grazing land’ they will soon be disabused of that notion.
If you allow armed herders in the yoruba countryside what argument would
you have to stop them settling in Lagos? Is there not grass in Lagos?
Where does the grass in Lagos end? – The Atlantic Ocean”.
Kolawole Odetola has displayed such wisdom, such insight such foresight
and such courage and I could not have put it better myself.
Let us hope that someone listens before it is too late.