Few hours ago, a paramount ruler in Lagos State, Oba Akiolu was quoted and even recorded threatening to drown Igbos resident in the state who do not vote for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode in the forthcoming election in Lagos State.
Of course, every sane person ( regardless of the tribe) who read the statement condemned it out rightly, it was not only irresponsible, shameful and unroyal-like but was also capable of dividing the country along ethnic/tribal lines.
To many people Infact all of us, he took a very wrong path to backing the candidacy of Akinwunmi Ambode and unfortunately this might cost the latter some votes.
Renowned writer, Pius Adesanmi has shared his thoughts on the matter. Excerpts from his facebook post below.
“Folks, please, let’s stop cutting and slicing this thing. This is
monumental xenophobia and reaction to it should not be up for debate. A more honorable, decisive reaction should be: not in our name!
That palace clarification is an insult to the intelligence – if you know how to read. It just simply perfumes the xenophobia. But there are even more problems with the clarification – and with those who are satisfied with it. A few weeks ago, the Awujale of Ijebuland had this to say to Goodluck Jonathan:
“It is not proper in Ijebuland or Yorubaland for an Oba to canvass for votes for any candidates seeking elective posts. In Ijebu here, it is not possible for any Oba, not even only in Ijebu, in Yorubaland, to go out and say vote for this, vote for that; that person is looking for trouble.
But give them the opportunity to present their programmes so that people can make up their minds on what to do. I think this is a very sound democratic principle and that is what I have decided to do, to give you the opportunity of meeting with the people.”
Now, many of us praised the Awujale to high heavens. We
congratulated him for stating the proper Yoruba position with regard to the political neutrality of Obas and their fatherhood of all. We embraced this position. Now, another major Yoruba monarch offers this travesty while clarifying xenophobia:
“The Oba thereafter called on the Igbos chiefs to show appreciation to Lagos State by supporting his candidate Mr. Ambode for continuity of excellence as they have earlier promised.”
“His candidate”? Didn’t we all massively agree with the Awujale
that there is no such thing as an Oba’s candidate? I find it very troubling that the same people who supported the Awujale’s statement that a Yoruba Oba ought not to have a candidate are now supporting another Yoruba Oba for endorsing a candidate and bullying people about it in a xenophobic manner.
Lagos is not a no man’s land. It is the repeated provocations on
that turf that is making so many people pretend not to see that Oba Akiolu’s statement should be condemned outright. But this should not be the case.
Provocation should not prevent you from condemning xenophobia. Besides, it should be self-evident that Lagos is not a no man’s land and those making that argument or implying it are just plain stupid. There are perfectly legitimate ways for Yoruba nationalism to negate that provocative trend without countenancing or tolerating
Just yesterday, I dished out some serious koboko to an Igbo brother of twenty years on his Wall for his growing Lagos-based Igbo ethnicist Al Shabaabism. If I find it in a Fulani man, an Igbirra man, an Okun man, I go after them.
Xenophobia is xenophobia.
No buts, no ifs, no let us understand the circumstances. There should be no circumstance in which xenophobia is excusable.
If you embraced the Awujale’s statement and you’re now
prevaricating over Oba Akiolu’s statement, check and reboot
your moral and ethical compass.
And, please, Lagosians pride themselves in being Nigeria’s
singular “hypermodernity”. There is a surfeit of “gedegbe l’Eko
wa” exceptionalist discourse to back this up. The cosmopolitan
essence is taken very seriously in Lagos.
If you want to be hypermodern and cosmopolitan, stop dredging
up, even metaphorically, the tradition of the Lagoon eating up
Our friends in Salem, Massachusetts, stopped trying and executing witches because they wanted to be seen as modern…
Our friends in Oyo town stopped asking the King’s horseman to
commit suicide upon the death of his principal because they
wanted to be seen as modern…
Nobody in Massachusetts is dredging up witch executions to
harass modern subjects…
Nobody in Oyo town is dredging up Elesin Oba’s suicide to
harass modern subjects…
Stop harassing me with osa (Lagoon) in Lagos.