By Adewale Adeleke
ON (IN) GRATITUDE OF BENEFICIARIES OF LIBERATION STRUGGLES
THE BOASTFUL GENERAL ON THE RUN – Igboho’s Critics.
A Critic Writes and I quote – “Empires grow by imperialist conquest which involves pillaging, looting, subjugation and murder. This was the way of the world until the 20th century. All the Kingdoms and empires of West Africa, Africa, Europe Americas and the rest of the world expanded this way. To single out the Fulani tribe for condemnation for what most cultures and all empires did for thousands of years is simply ignorant and unintelligent. Nobody with an appreciation of history would do this”.
I write solely to address the comment highlighted in bold above that, “To single out the Fulani tribe for condemnation for what most cultures and all empires did for thousands of years is simply ignorant and unintelligent.”
I am aware this issue has been addressed by my friends on this platform earlier, but because of the importance of the issue involved, it deserves to be revisited.
I do agree that, Empires grow by imperialist conquest which involves pillaging, looting, subjugation and murder.
However, how empires, such as the Roman, the British empires grow is irrelevant to the issue of why don’t I feel comfortable to drive from Akure to Ado Ekiti at anytime I feel like today.
It is irrelevant to my life what or how the Romans, the British, and any other empire expanded.
As at today, I may engage in theoretical conversation about how empires expanded hundreds of years ago.
But the reality that I am facing right now is not some crappy rant about the British empire expansion but why I do not feel free to drive from Akure to Ondo at 1AM. PERIOD. Any other talk about British, Roman, Ottoman empire expansion is theoretical and a useless luxury I simply can’t afford to waste time debating.
So, if Fulani herdsmen have singled me out for their expansionist agenda, it makes no sense for me to plural them in by talking gibberish about how empires, Roman, British, and Ottoman expand territory through conquest.
The reason farmers in South West Nigeria are unable to farm has nothing to do with the Roman empire expansion by conquest, but the fact that Fulani herdsmen have singled my ethnic group out for their expansionist agenda, and I must also single them out and focus on the history of their expansionist method for analysis, which is more practical, rather than be distracted by the mumbo jumbo meaningless crap about Ottoman empire expansion by conquest.
The bottom line for me is, why don’t I feel safe driving at 1AM from Akure to Ondo.
Is it (a) because of Ottoman, British empire expansionist method by conquest or Fulani herdsmen expansionist method.
- Where was Lenin at the time of the 1917 worker’s revolution that ended 300 years of Romanov rule of Russian Empire?
In exile in Switzerland.
- Where was Stalin at the time of the 1917 worker’s revolution that ended 300 years of Romanov rule of Russian Empire?
Sent away to Siberia by the gov’t of Tsar Nicholas.
- Where was Ayatolah Khomeini at the time of the 1979 Iranian revolution that brought an end to the more than 2,500 years of Phalavi dynasty?
So what’s the big deal if Igboho goes on self exile so that those he is fighting for their freedom are in Nigeria or in diaspora?
Liberation struggle methodology is hardly ever a one size fits all, but a combination of diverse, at times, mutually exclusive options. In general, liberal struggles utilize both pacifist and activist methodology.
In the US, at the turn of the last century, you have WEB Dubois on the activist side with Booker T Washington on the pacifist side. Fast forward four decades after, you have Malcolm X and Martin Luther King JR.
What all four share, is the objective – civil liberties for African Americans. Their methods couldn’t have been more contradictory.
The same unity in objective, mutually exclusive methodology applied to the struggles in Northern Ireland, with Sein Fein and IRA, one political, the other, militant.
In South Africa, we had ANC and the militant wing.
In all three, it is fair to highlight their liberation struggles recorded significant achievements. Obama, a President, for instance is an indicator of achievements of combined effort of Malcom X & MLK, as diverse and mutually exclusive as their methodology was.
The Good Friday Accord is an indication of the success of IRA & Sein Fein.
Needless to say President Mandela, Zuma… are indication of success of mutually exclusive liberation struggle methodology in South Africa.
There are however many African Americans today who are beneficiaries of the civil rights liberation movements in USA, who would nonetheless see nothing good to say or write about those who led the struggles at great personal inconvenience.
Ditto, black South Africans, and citizens of Northern Ireland.
In every society, it is the norm to have the grateful and the ungrateful. Remember, the prodigal son in the Bible. He eventually came home, just as most young people who are old enough, declare their “independence” and go out to live alone without any parental control, but after paying bills for a while retraced their steps.
Back home in Nigeria, we have experienced gradual but sustained increase in the level of insecurity in the country.
Today, there is hardly anyone who upon arriving at Lagos Murtala Mohamhed at 1AM can take a drive to Ibadan.
To all those making fun of Igboho, I ask them to attempt driving from Murtala Mohammed International Airport to Ibadan at 1AM. If they can do that for 3days in a row, I would take them seriously. But if they can’t, they are just are just parasites, leeching off efforts of people like Igboho.
Ah, gracias 🤛🏾🤛🏾 Igboho’s unorthodox method has contributed something of value to addressing the menace of Fulani herdsmen in the South West. Those engaged in funding and supporting the Fulani conquest agenda have to think again about how to proceed with their evil agenda knowing that the Yorubas would not keep quiet and take it on the cheek any more. They know that their violence would no longer be met with the orthodox ‘turn the other cheek’ approach but by any means necessary approach.
For that, future generations of Yorubas would be grateful to him, his courage to stand up to the evil war of conquest.
With the unorthodox approach of Igboho, combined with other pacifist approach, one day, people would once again be able to drive from one town to another anytime of the day without fear.
When that day comes, there would, as usual, be those who are grateful to Igboho for his courage, and others, the ungrateful, who would have nothing but lengthy poems to disparage Igboho.
That is the human nature.
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