Ile-Ife ethnic clash between Hausa and Yoruba. Why?
I’m sure most of you have already heard about the ethnic clash that occurred and is still simmering within the sleepy town of Ile-Ife, Osun state.
The little historic Yoruba town hasn’t seen this much violent excitement since the last intertribal conflict that went down in 1999 –
And that ’99 war was no cake walk. First time I ever saw an ordinary egg get turned into a grenade.
Can you imagine that? An ordinary hen laid egg being transformed into an explosive via juju. Crazy stuff!
I’ve read newspaper reports concerning the cause of this conflict that was triggered on the afternoon of 7th March 2017.
But here’s what I’ve found out with a bit of shoddy investigative journalism.
Piecing together reports from available witnesses and unverified word on the streets, here’s what led to the death of 10 men as of last count.
Within the center of Ife town is the Sabo area. Now, if you’re Nigerian, you know there’s a Sabo in every major city and town. And you also know it’s where the Hausa community is usually concentrated.
Apparently, certain Ife girls had picked up the habit of going to Sabo to “hawk their wares”.
Just so we’re clear, I mean they go to Sabo men to perform whoring duties.
The Sabo men were much obliged, and their mutually beneficial transaction of cash for flesh was thriving.
But it seems the Hausa men’s wives had become sickened by this activity and had at some point reported to the Ooni to warn the Ife girls off their men.
A few days after this auspicious visit to the Ooni, one of the Ife girls went visiting her customer at Sabo to “transact”. It seems that particular transaction didn’t go down well and resulted in the “Delilah” getting a slap instead of cash.
To retaliate, said Delilah went in search of her actual boyfriend who turns out to be an “agbero” (tout) and reported the slap.
If that’s what happened, I’m sure she must have narrated her story in such a way it set her lover’s soul on fire.
Romeo the Agbero gathered some of his trusted allies and went into Sabo to avenge his girlfriend and her wayward vagina’s honour.
That was where it all started.
The Yoruba youths led by Romeo’s love began a free for all, and as you can expect the Hausa’s didn’t take it lying down. But the Yoruba’s struck the first blow thinking it was over.
Soon the Hausa’s gathered their forces and retaliated.
The Yoruba’s at that point called on their traditional rulers to intervene. The rulers responded by summoning the special task force, SARS, to quell the situation.
Unfortunately, most of the SARS officers assigned to Ife at the moment are of Northern extraction. So instead of being diplomatic, SARS delved into the fracas by standing on the side of their brethren to disperse the Yorubas.
The Yoruba youths then were like, “oh no they didn’t! *snap fingers*” and reinforced before re-retaliating, leading to the destruction of every Hausa stall from Eleyele junction, all the way down to Obalufon.
At the moment, there is an uneasy peace with a curfew put in place between 6pm and 7am.
But this conflict could still go either way – Both involved clans can retreat to lick their wounds, accepting their losses and resume their harmonious co-existence.
The Hausas could decide to bring a version of the ongoing Southern Kaduna experience to the sleepy Ife town which is host to the largest university in the country housing almost a hundred thousand youths from all over and outside Nigeria.
It is my prayer that today, the 9th of March, 2017 will mark the end of a short-lived skirmish. Because last thing the country needs is another powder keg of angry citizens violently going off.
But here’s a funny question – the individuals might currently be scheming another attack, do they even remember what started this fight?
And if they do remember, and the story of Agbero Romeo and Whoring Delilah is true, don’t they feel stupid for letting things go this far?