By Saliu Woru Mohammed (Ph.D)
Let me begin this piece by expressing my sincere appreciation to those personalities that attended the Fidau prayer of my dear late mother, Alhaja Fatimah Woru Mohammed (Alias Iyakewu). The list of the attendants include top government functionaries, traditional rulers, imams and Islamic scholars and some managing directors of both electronic and print media across the 36 states of the federation and other well-wishers too numerous to mention. I pray that the Almighty Allah will reward them abundantly, Amen.
Recently, a good friend of mine looking angry and disturbed brought to me a copy of “The Herald” newspaper of Friday May 29th, 2020. The publication contains a provocative article title “Between Ilorin Emirate and Moro local Government Dr Salihu Muhammed Nda Woru: A fast developing infamous distorter of history or just an iconoclast” allegedly written and signed by Mr. Wole Oke, a battle ready sworn enemy of Fulani who has now turned himself into a local champion of Shao community.
Going through the article under reference, it was very clear that the content did not only reflect lies but also libel and mischief , written by someone who crowns himself chief and mouthpiece of the good and peace loving people of Shao, a Moro community. My friend insisted that a prompt rejoinder be written on the provocative and offensive write up but I declined . I took pains to explain to my friend that silence is golden for people like Wole Oke, known for his political junketeering, always looking for political appointments each time Kwara is having a new government. When during the administration of Abdulfatah Ahmed, the immediate past Governor of Kwara State, Wole Oke was settled with an appointment as chairman of College of Education, Oro, he worshipped that government like a religion. But now that food is no longer on the table, Wole Oke has turned very violently against the same government.
Furthermore, I told my friend that Wole Oke and his cohorts deserved to be ignored because he disclosed in the article under reference written by him that his pre-occupation while he was a member of the Kwara State House of Assembly was mainly on the divisibility of the present five local governments of Ilorin Emirate rather than to use his energy and brain on improving legislation at the house.
Then, he did not even consider the comfort, general welfare and infrastructural development of Shao where he hails from and that shows you why a politician of bread and butter like Wole Oke must be ignored, when he decides to rattle his nonsense to persecute us. Fortunately for us, the indigenous people of Moro, huge in number, saw his evil hence, they dissociated themselves from him and his cohorts. What a shame!
This legacy, the Emirate system of government’ that must be for keep, is now unfortunately being dismantled by diverse political interests, championed by Wole Oke, which if not reversed, could bring untold suffering to our now incessantly attacked Ilorin Emirate community and erode the welfare and living comfort of thousands of our people including eroding the peaceful coexistence, brought about by long time culture that has distinguished us as a peculiar people greatly revered all over the world.
Worst still, our conflicting political interests cannot be the solution to the debilitating poverty ravaging the citizens.
It will be recalled sadly that recently Mr Wole Oke and his cohorts were calling on the state Governor, Mallam Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman for the balkanization of Ilorin Emirate’s five present local government areas to give Moro Local Government Area an autonomy from the present Ilorin West Local Government, perhaps ignorant of the fact that the 774 local government council areas in the country are the creation of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which of course is under the exclusive list of the federal government. The question that readily comes to mind now is, how can a small group of people continuously disturb our peace and unity by persistently calling on the state government to dismantle the present legally established Ilorin Emirate council of Ilorin West, Asa, Moro, Ilorin South and Ilorin East.
Our pride in Ilorin Emirate and Kwara State generally is “Harmony” that is, peace plus unity and progress, devoid of rancour, chaos, crisis and disjointedness.
It is however frightening that the peace, in the recent political evolution in the Emirate is being seriously threatened and prone to expose our nakedness and sell us out to external attacks and victimization if the voices of un-acculturated people like Wole Oke are listened to.
It is also feared that if the unity, consciously entrenched and engraved by our fore-fathers in the Emirate is lost to political sentiment, it may spell doom for the present and future of the Emirate. This is why we believe that the gains of unity would be a better option than the pains of disunity and disintegration.
Our fore-fathers, Alfa Alimi, the successive Emirs of Ilorin Emirate, the religious leaders and Ulamas, the Sarakis and the first lawyer in Northern Nigeria, Barr. AGF Abdulrazaq (SAN) among others had labored to build what we now pride as the Emirate legacy of speaking with one voice which has been the source of our power in the country.
The community whose people have been together for decades peacefully as members of the same family is sadly being politicized to fall apart because of the selfish interest of a visionless cabal who are apparently swimming in ignorance and confusion. The Wole Oke led group has failed to see reasons why they must give room for the peaceful co-existence among the people. Rather, they have chosen to embark on editorial and media war against me for speaking out the truth of the value of our status quo, rooted in peace and progress. They are also using radio programmes to press for their silly and irresponsible demand which they themselves know can only be a mere hallucination.
Now that the indigenous peace loving people of Moro have spoken loudly in both print and electronic media (radio) disassociating themselves from irresponsible call for the divisibility and dissolubility of the five local government areas of Ilorin Emirate by Wole Oke and his boys, the option left for the embattled group is to drop their swords and embrace peace and harmony which the Ilorin Emirate is well known for. They have to support the present administration of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on accelerated development of the entire Kwara State including Shao, his town. I vehemently deny the allegation of referring to people of Moro as slaves as being alleged by the Moro Elders in their offensive publication, however, both oral and written history show there was a jihad virtually in all the towns and villages in the Emirate which led to the establishment of Islamic administration by the Jihadists, I stand to be corrected by Wole Oke who has every right now to go back to his Oduduwa town in South West of Nigeria . I am pretty sure that Wole Oke and his group may find it extremely difficult to trace the homes of their ancestors if at all there was any.
I must confess that I am highly disturbed by unfounded argument by Wole Oke in his write up that only Princes or Princesses can discuss issues on the subject matter. To me, this inference by him also sounds hollow and not acceptable to a graduate of journalism and versatile graduate of Public Relations and criminology like me.
As a graduate of Public Relations, investigations that I conducted showed that most of the aggregators of Moro came and settled in Moro from either Iragbiji while some are railway workers errand boys and others, the Osomalo who now use the wartime privilege enjoyed from Fulani Jihads to achieve a political position. Is it not unfortunate that they are now attempting to bite the finger that fed them?
People like Wole Oke must learn to be grateful for what they are now and stop fomenting trouble of ancestry, locality and location. Our maturity is premised on the unreasonability of reigniting and rejiging ugly reminisces of history but like Macbeth, Chief Wole Oke has murdered innocent sleep and hence may no longer sleep from the swaying force of trouble he is sparking. People who know him must tell him this truth.
He is afraid to talk for the development of Moro and Shao but prefers to overheat the polity, putting government to task in his spurious demand for the grading of a stool. Nigerians are witnesses to the late former Governor Ajimobi’s balkanization of the Olubadan throne, but all that is history now. Why can Wole Oke not spend his useful time doing something else than blowing whistles of anarchy here and there? This mischievous chief must be tutored.
Finally, let me congratulate the Kwara State Governor, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for his unprecedented and commendable achievements in the past one year of his assumption of office. My commendation also go to the indigenous people of Moro, for their unalloyed support and loyalty to the present administration in the state by refusing to join pseudo politicians who are only looking for political relevance cum political appointment wishing to destabilized Ilorin Emirate.
However, as our amiable Governor begins his second year in office, we should rally round him to take us to the next level of development. However, now that Wole Oke deliberately murdered sleep, the battle line is now drawn between us.
My dear readers, the debate will be long but educative and entertaining; the discussion shall also provide our numerous readers golden opportunity to know who is intellectually sound and mature among us.
*Mohammed (Ph.D), Mogaji Nda of Ilorin, Zana of Okuta Emirate and Otun Agba-Akin of Share Land writes from Ilorin