Cradle of Yoruba: Vandalism over market day today, what’s next?

In a society where we are oblivious to the changing world that we are in, it is inevitable that unresolved land ownership disputes will keep people hostile to their neighbours until they burst.

Vandalism is another consequences of violence that I just do not agree with because it only shows one thing – ignorance. Destroying properties just do not make any sense given most involved are farmers and worked hard to own any property at all.

Photo Credits: Realworld Empire

Photo Credit: Realworld Empire

Growing up with my royal familyI am well aware that disputes over land ownership affect quite a lot of small towns around those clustered around Ile Ife, however, Modakeke is most affected as they have bigger population and closer to the Ifes than other surrounding towns.

Now, for years Ipetumodu and Asipa have been disputing over land ownership, there are impending court case on many of their lands. Several years ago, they were near burst but it was curtailed, now last week the veil was uncovered – burning buildings, damaging properties leaving communities deserted, for what? – Because the king wants more land.

Traditionally, we have local markets that operate on rota, this must have been agreed by traders long ago for ease of farm produce trading, so market day don’t clash. People in my village usually trade between Famia, Akinlalu, Asipa and Gbongan, there is always something unique with each market – life is a bliss.

Two years ago, a new market was created by the Ipetumodu at Akinola Junction and the date that this market operates was deliberately fixed so it coincides with Asipa market. To an outsider, this should be no big deal however, to locals it is a very big issue because Akinola is situated on Ibadan Express road making it more accessible to traders than Asipa market and so basically ‘snatch’ traders from Asipa market.

In this case chiefs and kings playing mind games for no other reason than to provoke reactions. Beggar believe how they arrive at being crowned.

For those who believed Modakeke and Ife land dispute over land ownership is isolated,  well, now we can all see interwoven idiosyncrasies that is our tale.

This short clip says it all. Nothing more to it. One side says, “I am the original owner” the other says “It’s my father’s” As if that is not embarrassing enough, among these two people was a king! That we are supposed to listen to.

We might as well have feudal system. Incredible the number of kings we have in Yorubaland today. When I was little, I knew about five within 30 miles radius, today the numbers have quadrupled and with zero accountability.

By the turn of the century, every street will have a king, heaven knows who I will end up paying homage to.


Categories: A Yoruba Monarch, Africa, Nigeria

Tags: , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. Thanks for the insight FK, you paint a somewhat complicated picutre, but still the bottom line is this, if there aer Obas or monarchs who are guilty of persistently upsetting the peace and tranquility of Yorubaland, then there powers should be curbed, or they should be dethroned. Like when the Emir of Zazzau (Zaria in Kaduna state) was caught drinking alcohol and frolicking with ladies who he wasn’t married to, he was ‘deturbaned’.
    The greater good of the people should trump the narrow interests of the monarchs. That is what the purpose of the elders should be, to ensure that this is always the case. How to achieve this is another matter entirely that will take some work, but it can be done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, sorry for the complicated tale. I got confused myself not because the issue is confusing, it just does not make any sense and how anyone got away with this for so long is beyond any sense.

      Now, dethroned you say? Ha ha, that is the complication because the one who is behind all this supposedly is the one sitting on the thrown that all Yorubas worship (I can hear Ijesha and Ijebu saying, not me!). Frolicking with ladies a third of their age has never been Yoruba problem, it is actually celebrated. Good luck to the beautiful ones who adored grandpas Baba ba n gbesi.
      We don’t need to be complicated, we have so much to share but how am I going to blow my horn when I know thousands like me are being hunted like a deer?

      We all know the truth but no one wants to say or do anything. Put the old man in his place, peace will reign and no disrespect would be done to anyone.

      Federal govt can’t be bothered as chaos within tribes provides distraction.

      I strongly believe it can be done too, lots of work though, no change comes easy. Lots of empty jungle all around us that Federal/state govt can easily be open up so people can spread a bit better.

      I am hopeful…


  2. This is where I fear to venture, as you may take the proverbial koboko for my yansh – hopefully you will spare me. Being a non-Yoruba, opens one up to the attack, that one should keep one’s mouth out this affair.

    I thought the powers of the Obas etc were meant to be purely ceremonial. What little powers they have are not being exercised responsibly, that being the case they should be stripped entirley of what powers they have. Instead power should be transferred to elders both men and women, who have the well-being, harmony and prosperity of Yorubaland at stake, these people can be nominated by their townsfolk based on their deeds and wisdom. Whatever they decide should be formally declared by their Oba. The Oba’s role should be purely ceremonial and custodian of the ‘culture’, kind of like the Queen of England.

    The feuding of the Obas is merely due to ego, greed, machismo and vanity if their disputes were contained to media exchanges no problem, but it always seems to end in needless violence. If the councils are allowed to resolve this, (the input of women, hopefully will remove the need for violence) then peace will reign.

    The number of royal heads should be curtailed. When there are too many not only does this increase the likelihood of more squabbles but is a drain on resources. I don’t think the government should subsidise them. If the people value their monarchs to much, then local taxes should pay for their existence. Their is a saying, unfortunately – I don’t know Yoruba well, so the English version is “too many chefs, spoil the soup”. We can see that too many Obas are spoiling the peace.

    Another thing is that when their are too many monarchs, one’s respect for them diminishes, to be introduced to yet another “So and so of so and so”, one merely “mentally sighs, as if to say Oh really” – when monarchs are as common as mosquitos the glamour and mysituque of royalty is diminished.

    I’m sure you will advise and correct, thank you FK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha… no koboko for you, not yet 🙂 Because you are true soil of the soil, contribution to date shows real interest in the welfare of our people in which you are one. Also, you see, I don’t know all and always love to be corrected as really we all cared hence we are talking about issues close to our hearts.

      As you already know, all of our problems are interconnected regardless of where we are primarily from in Nig. You have said it all – all about egos with zero accountability.

      Wisdom of the elders can not be underestimated, however, royal families are already privileged given huge land inheritance. In the past, they were useful and held accountable for so many roles. Things have changed all fingers now point to the government to clean up all mess putting more strain on limited resources.

      This last episode, governor Aregbesola showed up and promised to help where he could. Now you see armed security in Ipetu and Asipa. Resources spent on this could have been used on other value added programs. Do the Kings fighting on land see this.

      If I were Aregbesola (thank goodness am not) I would be frank with the Obas, your stipend will be used fund this – how else are they going to learn?

      And big yes, we have way too many kings now, it is laughable. Monarchs in Yorubaland are beyond ceremonial, now it’s even getting out of hand as they influenced politics significantly. Which I don’t really mind as long as they are ready to take responsibility.

      Now my village and a few surrounding ones has a king, who by the way is a Lagos-based lawyer have no farm land in the area but was installed by Oba Sijuade as King of Famia, for what? Once installed as a king, you get a perk of a new car and monthly stipend from the state government. Why did my state not see this as a loop hole for abuse is beyond me.

      Yes, there are few traditional kings with a palace whose job are primarily to maintain law and order in the community, some of these actually do work so deserved to be compensated.


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