AFENIFERE SPEAKS ON GUMI’S VISIT TO IGBOHO COMMUNITY IN OYO STATE, INCITING RELIGIOUS TENSION

…Says siting Naval Base in Kano, absurd

By Dapo Akinrefon

THE pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, Sunday described the visit by Islamic preacher, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi and Prof Yusuf Usman to Igboho in Oyo State as provocative, inciting and a way of mocking the people of the area and the person of Sunday Adeyemo fondly called Sunday Igboho.

It also described the sitting of a Naval Base in Kano, Kano State as parts of the absurdities being taking too far in Nigeria.

This was contained in a statement titled: ‘Gumi in Igboho, Naval Base in Kano: The absurdities are becoming choking’.

Afenifere, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jare Ajayi, said as Nigerians, both Sheikh Gumi and Usman have the right to visit anywhere in the country and are entitled to freely express themselves.

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 Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Igboho.

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.

But reacting to the visit, Afenifere’s spokesperson 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.

He said: “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.

“As is well-known, Yoruba 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.

“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.”

On the establishment of a Naval base in Kano, Ajayi said: “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.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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