Today is Akoraye Day. Every last Saturday of the year is.
The day that all Modakekes home and away celebrate the gift of life and a bit of pat in the back that we are still here.
The event is mostly to reflect on the past, appreciate the present and plan for the future – call it Modakeke Thanksgiving Day.
Plenty of music, dance, food and many more of it. Some folks would get super drunk on Emu (palm wine) and Ogogoro (locally made liquor, that stuff burns throat!) today – it’s all about celebrating.
Although the resistance to lease payment from Modakekes is a century old tale but it has never been consistent, it all depends on who is at the throne in Ife and how much delusional he is.
1981 was the first Akoraye Day – the need for a day of reflection arose out of necessity.
A year prior Oba Adesoji of blessed memory w’aja (passed away). During his time, there was no need for Akoraye Day – relationship was not perfect, but it was manageable. Senior chiefs have never stopped pushing but Aderemi knew better.
The last blood shed was during Oba Sijuade, Olubuse I.
True to his words on coronation day December 06, 1980 – everything changed, Oba Okunade Sijuade Olubuse II wasted no time to execute his plans.
By midyear 1981, the town has witnessed the most brutal killings of our recent time in Yorubaland, it met Modakekes by surprise, they were suspicious but no one knew the extent.
By December 1981, agreement was made, we do need a day – Akoraye Day it is it will be celebrated the by last Saturday of every year. Home and away, physically or spiritually – be there to rejoice and reflect and remember that our town needs us.
This year would have been the 33rd Akoraye Day but because of the last ‘open’ killing spree between 1997 and 2000, we missed two years – The town was too much ‘broken’ to see any reason to celebrate, too many of our brave ones were lost in 1998 especially.
This year is our 31st Akoraye Day.
Today I am grateful for all those guys whose lives were cut short, and others who defended the borders and survived, the youths who didn’t run away but hung around to provide moral supports, the women who pounded locally made gun powder even when their palm of their hands were swollen from so much work and one brave woman (Mama Rush E) in particular who broke the myths of gender bias of women capability. She led several people to the borders – incredible woman she was – without the collective effort, Modakeke would have been heaps of ash.
And to our King – Oba Francis Adedoyin, he stood by throughout, even when the youths had enough of listening to orders, he showed that he understood the frustration.
Last but not the least, not always have we ever had hearing ears from the ‘outsiders’, news don’t get out in a way that human lives being wasted meant anything so for the most part, we are on our own.
The current state administrator, Governor Rauf Aregbesola is different, not because of what he said, but because of what he is doing. Grateful for the new state school system, one of Modakeke ones was completed early this year.
Give me education, I’ll live.
For this and many more I am grateful to Gov. Aregbesola’s admnstration.
You don’t have to be from Modakeke to see the injustices going on, if you must help us, anything in the line of education is a life gift no one can take away from.
Akoraye a gbe wa o.