The statements made by the Islamic preacher, Sheikh Dr Ahmed Gumi and Prof Yusuf Usman when they visited Igboho in Oyo State and the siting of a Naval Base in Kano, Kano State have been described as parts of the absurdities being taking too far in Nigeria.
Making the declaration in a release at the weekend was the pan Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere.
According to the spokesman of the organization, Comrade Jare Ajayi, as Nigerians, both Sheikh Gumi and Usman have the right to visit anywhere in the country and are entitled to freely express themselves.
“But the circumstance of their visit to Igboho and what they said while in the town are not only provocative and inciting but also a way of mocking the people of the area and the person of Sunday Adeyemo.”
It would be recalled that in a widely circulated audio-visual video clip, Gumi and Usman were seen standing by the signpost of a school in Modeke area of Igboho, headquarters of Oorelope local government area of Oyo State. Igboho is the birthplace of Mr. Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho who is the arrowhead of the movement against the terrorist actions allegedly being perpetrated by bandits suspected to be of Fulani extraction. This was what prompted Sunday Igboho to get to Igangan in Ibarapa area of Oyo State to confront Seriki Fulani alleged to be responsible for various nefarious activities being carried out against the people of the area. Igboho is also one of the arrowheads of agitation for the establishment of Yoruba nation.
While in Igboho, Gumi showed some cows grazing near a school compound in the area and said that it showed that anybody should be free to graze anywhere without being molested.
Afenifere said that it took serious exception to Gumi or anyone else from outside Yorubaland to come and declare the area as belonging to any particular religion. “As is well-known, Yorubas are quite liberal and tolerant of one another when it comes to religious faith, cultural practices and related social activities. For Gumi to declare any of the towns in Yorubaland as belonging to a religious faith is a way of inciting adherents of other faiths. This is unacceptable. He should not bring that divisive tendency or proclamation to Yorubaland.”
The spokesman also stated that the allusion made to the cattle grazing in a school compound by Gumi without being disturbed also veiled the truth. “In many parts of Yorubaland today, people are reluctant to confront herders grazing on their property not because they are comfortable with it but because they are afraid of being attacked by the armed herders. And they know that if attacked and they complain to the authorities, they are not likely to get justice. This, among other reasons, was even what gave birth to agitations for a Yoruba nation out of the present Nigeria nation.”
He added that the description of Adeyemo as ‘the detaining in Benin who made Igboho popular’ by Gumi and Usman in Igboho was a mockery of the self-determination agitator. It was too daring, provocative and uncouth.
Ajayi in the release also alluded to the announcement by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo that a Naval Base is being established in the landlocked city of Kano. He made the announcement when he visited the Kano State Governor, Alhaji Umar Ganduje who even announced the donation of 1000 hectares of land for the purpose. To show that he meant business, the Chief of Naval Staff announced the appointment of Captain Muhammad Abubakar Alhassan as the acting commander of the new naval base.
According to Afenifere spokesman, naval bases are normally sited on the seaside for effective service delivery. “So, of all the cities in the southern part of Nigeria, nowhere was found suitable to locate additional naval base except where ships cannot berth? It is only in Nigeria that such an absurdity can happen! But it is an absurdity carried too far especially when considered against the background of highly disproportional military bases that are already in the northern part of the country.”