Interwoven existence


Until the late 60s and 70s there were visible boundaries between Modakeke and
Ife. The vegetation belt between the two towns was gradually eaten up in the
course of what we initially thought was a positive development. The Ifes built
across erstwhile boundaries and spilled over into Modakeke. Until Oba Sijuwade
came into the open to proclaim their concealed-for-long intentions we did not
suspect what they were up to. We did not know that they were pursuing a policy
of encirclement as a stepping stone t the objective of integration and assimilation
of Modakeke as a subjugated community. They wanted Modakeke to be part of
a greater Ile-Ife but without basic citizenship rights which the Ifes enjoy and
which the Nigerian Constitution provides for. When you adopt a child you lavish your
love, affection and care on him or her. The Ifes would only love to adopt a child
for purpose of enslavement. We have lived side by side for more than a hundred
and sixty years, they have not been able to integrate or assimilate us through
natural processes. Now they are desperate to do it by force of arms. In the former
three Local Government Areas, only Ife Central belonged to the Ifes. Ife north
belonged to the Oyos–Modakekes and Origbos. Similarly in the Ife South, the
Ifes are about 10 per cent. That is to say the Ifes are a minority in the so called Ife
area. How then could they assimilate any other group?

They don’t have the population. They don’t have the material resources. They
don’t even have the goodwill, fellow-feeling or spirit of comradeship which are
fundamental requirements for anyone who wants another person to associate or I
identify with him. They have now resorted to force to realize their dream status of
Lords and masters in a feudal enclave in which others will labor for them to live.

It is this inhumanity, and indeed bestiality that we resist and will continue to
resist. They are seeking to establish a feudal stranglehold and ride roughshod over us.
We are defending our basic citizenship rights a guaranteed in the country’s
constitution. They are fanatically pursuing the payment of tributes at this age and
in the State. They are not asking to be paid for what they have invested on the
land. They want to forcefully share, if not grab from us, the products of our labor
on farmlands we have been cultivating for over 160 years in a place (the only
place) we know as our home in the country of birth. We are surprised that the
government has not felt embraced and called them to order. We are surprised
because their actions constitute a blatant violation of the Nigerian Constitution (
fundamental provisions) and Land Law ( Land Use Decree) and are capable of
lowering Nigeria’s estimation in the comity of nations. Their course of action
shows that they want to operate outside Nigeria’s legal framework. This means
that they are seeking the status of an outlaw in a country with a republican status.
The average Modakeke peasant farmer invests his youthful energy, productively
by tilling the soil. The average Ife peasant farmer plays about. Throw they want to
harvest what they never planted. It happened from 1909 to 1976. they want to
revived 1997. To this we say NO WAY. The social and political changes of the
distant and recent past mean nothing to them. They are hell bent on reestablishing
a feudal hegemony less than 1,000 days to the 21st century. We are determined to
make this impossible because their objective is unlawful and their action are
criminal. For a community to nurse such a sordid desire, we believe, is an
indication of utter depravity.

This is our case. This is our plight and this is why we insist on our basic rights as
citizens of Nigeria. We don’t want to have anything to do with Ifes again. Any
form of association will not work. It has never worked. We want our
MODAKEKE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA. We don’t want a single Ife man
in our Local Government Council because we are not interested in lording it over
anybody. We want an end to blood-bath. We want an end to the age-long feud.
It is clear to all sincere and peace-loving Nigerians that a separate MODAKEKE
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA is the only route to peace. That is all we are
asking for.






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