A row broke out on the latest star on South West political scene, Sunday Adeyemo of Igboho, Oyo State. The man took it on himself to repulse the criminal activities of Fulani herders around Igboho because, as he put it, the community had been victims of rape, murder, invasion/destruction of their farms and other crimes suspected to be perpetrated in the area by Fulani settlers. With help or indeed rescue coming from nowhere, Sunday Igboho drove away the leader of the Fulani community and, as to be expected, his followers.
Inevitably, tension rose, such to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to invite His Highness, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, in the belief that he would be of some assistance in lowering the tension. Oba Ogunwusi rightly honoured Buhari’s invitation, a gesture, which drew uncomplimentary insinuations. The Ooni is from Osun State, while Alaafin, His Highness, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, is from Oyo State, Sunday Igboho’s state of origin. It was, therefore, understandable that, at the height of the tension over the criminal activities of the Fulanis at Igboho and other parts of South West, the Alaafin, in a protest letter to President Buhar, alerted Aso Rock on the unacceptable activities of Fulanis throughout South West.
It is still not clear if the Alaafin got a response from Buhari on his letter of protest. Rather, it was another opportunity for Aso Rock to exploit the battle for supremacy between Alaafin and Ooni over Yorubaland. Even if Alaafin got a reply to his letter of protest, Aso Rock, instead, prefered the Ooni to be invited for discussions on the tension not only at Igboho but throughout the South West. A sort of divide and rule.
Certainly, by speaking up for Yoruba on the Fulani tension, the Alaafin was one up over the Ooni of Ife. Also, by honouring Buhari’s invitation, the Ooni merely discharged the obligation of his throne. There was no way he could have dishonoured Buhari’s invitation. That doctrine was established by Obafemi Awolowo, who was faulted by his supporters for honouring an invitation for discussions from former President Shehu Shagari. According to Awolowo, whatever grievances, disagreement or status, any invitation from a Nigerian Head of State must be treated with all courtesy. There was, therefore, no way the Ooni at his level could have rebuffed Buhari. If, therefore, it was correct for Awolowo to honour Shagari’s invitation, it could not be wrong of the Ooni to honour Buhari’s invitation
The only problem is that any Federal Government will continue to exploit, for divide and rule purposes, the battle for supremacy between the Alaafin and the Ooni.
There are a couple of by the ways. It is very mean to have frozen the bank account(s?) of Sunday Igboho. Simply because the man confronted the murderous activities of Fulanis in his area? Buhari must not wait for another court ruling before unfreezing the accounts. Secondly, it is a relief that Sunday Igboho has appointed a spokesman. So soon, the man has realised the danger of excessive publicity. It kills, figuratively speaking.