Yoruba Comic Actor, Dejo Tunfulu, Dies At 50

Photo of Yoruba comic, Dejo Tynfulu

 

Yoruba comic actor, Kunle Mak Tokunbo, also known as Dejo Tunfulu, is dead.

Fellow actor, Kunle Afod, announced the passing of the 50-year-old via Instagram with the caption, “You posted this few days ago Dejo Haaaaaaaaa. This is so sad 😭Pressy Tunfulu Daddy Junior Still can’t believe this @dejomania.”

 

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A post shared by Adekunle afod (@kunleafod)

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The cause of his death still remains unknown, however, he was rumoured to have suffered unexpected bleeding during the shooting of his current film.

He was a household name in the Yoruba film industry where he showed his comedic side in movies such as Booda Ode and Agbero.

Tunfulu began his acting career in the television programme Theatre Omode. He became known by the name Dejo in the movie  Aje ni Iya mi in which he played the role of Dejo.

Interpreter’s Absence Stalls Arraignment Of Igboho Aides

Igboho aides
The aides were arrested during a raid earlier in the year.

 

The arraignment of two aides of Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Adeyemo popularly called Sunday Igboho could not hold following the absence of an interpreter. 

The Federal Government through the Department of State Service is prosecuting the aides – Jamiu Oyetunji and Amudat Babatunde –  on a 5-count terrorism charge.

According to the FG, the defendants were involved in acts of terrorism and were found in possession of prohibited firearms.

When the matter came up on Monday, counsel to the defendants Pelumi Olajengbensi, told the court that his clients do not understand English and they needed an interpreter.

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Efforts by the court to get an interpreter proved futile, a situation that forced the trial Judge Justice Obiorah Evwuatu to adjourn to January 24, 2022, for arraignment.

Babatunde Amudat and Jamiu Oyetunji were arrested in a joint operation carried out by the DSS and the Nigeria Army on 2nd July at the residence of Sunday Igboho.

Monday’s arraignment comes a few weeks after the two aides were released by the DSS.

Initially, the DSS had apprehended 12 persons linked to Igboho; however, after a brief legal tussle in August, the DSS released 10 of the aides in September.

The remaining two were held back for a few more weeks and were finally let go in October.

However, the DSS was not satisfied with the ruling of Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court in Abuja on August 4, ordering to release all 12 detained associates of Igboho, and as such, the agency went ahead to slam a five-count terrorism charge against the last two aides.

The African Game Aiming For Olympics Recognition

In many parts of Nigeria and beyond, Ayò Olọ́pọ́n, is called different names. Photo: Facebook/National Sports Festival – Edo 2020

 

Two men, possibly in their early to mid-fifties, sat across from each other under a shaded tree. Some motorcycles are also parked metres away.  Excitement, concentration, and wit were plastered on their faces. 

They are hurdled over a wooden board whose surface is punctuated by 12 hollows – each containing a cluster of ash-coloured seeds – amid the watchful eyes of an interested audience, who would have loved to be the participants.

But for such a friendly game, the atmosphere is extremely fierce.

Johnson Adeoye, wearing a blue shirt with yellow stripes, looked up to acknowledge greetings from the small but boisterous crowd. And like a grandmaster, he dipped his hand into one of the hollows in the brownish wooden board to pick up some ball-like seeds.

In a swift anti-clockwise move, he deftly began to drop seeds in the adjoining hollows, emptying them in a frenzy as he raced to victory [8-0] against Adebayo Ademola in a cozy evening at Otutu Street in the ancient town of Ile-Ife, Osun State.

The game is Ayò Olọ́pọ́n –  as it is referred to in the Yoruba-dominated South West of Nigeria – the African board game on a quest for Olympic recognition.

In the literal sense, Ayò Olọ́pọ́n means “the game of the wooden board” in Yoruba, one of the widely spoken languages in Nigeria.

Across the country, it is known by different names. Among the Igbos, it is called Ncho, Okwe, or Nchoro, Nsa Isong and Dara among the Efiks and Hausas. In the Edo language, Ogirise is the name of the game while the Tiv people of Benue call it Teratar dar to mention a few.

Played in many parts of Africa, it is similar to the Endodoi of the Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania and belongs to the family of Mancala board games.

In some West African countries like Ghana, Senegal, etc, and in the Caribbean, the strategy game is known as Oware and Wari respectively. In East Africa including Kenya, Tanzania, Comoros, Malawi, and some areas of DR Congo and Burundi, it is called Bao.

The different names seem to point to one thing – difficulty in singling out an ethnic group or country as the originators of the game.

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The game was featured at the 20th National Sports Festival in Edo State earlier in the year. Photo: Facebook/National Sports Festival – Edo 2020

 

But in tracing its origin, a historian, Dr Akin Ogundiran, did not mince words in pinpointing where it emanated from.

It is pervasive among the Niger-Congo peoples – from the edge of the Sahara in Senegal to the rainforest of Central Africa and from the coast of West Africa to the beaches of East Africa, the historian noted.

“We can make a strong case that the game originated from the ancestors of the present Niger-Congo-speaking peoples, the largest language family in Africa,” the professor of Africana Studies, Anthropology and History at the University of North Carolina, told Channels Television.

“The game spread with the expansion of those ancestors from their savanna homeland (present-day Senegal-Mali-Mauritania boundaries) into the rainforest between 7,000 and 3,000 years ago,” he said, explaining that “it reflects advanced cognitive and quantitative skill sets about the time that many people in West Africa (proto-Niger-Congo ancestors) began to adopt agricultural subsistence, farming communities, and settled life, 7,000-5,000 years ago.

“It is a game that every country in Sub-Saharan Africa should elevate to the status of national heritage. As we know, many social innovations and even technology began with games.”

Beyond the African shores, it is played in the Caribbean – taken by enslaved Africans during the Middle Passage – where it is known as Wari and is played by millions of people.

While the historian has tried to explain the origin of the game, enthusiasts like Osun lawmaker, Babatunde Olatunji, say there are inadequate records pointing it back to Africa and fear that the continent could lose this “part of our cultural heritage”.

“I can foresee in the nearest future, we may not be too surprised to have seen history being rewritten and somebody proving to us that it does not also emanate from us,” Babatunde stated in an interview, noting that even the little research about the game was carried out by people outside the continent.

A Talent From God

Like millions who enjoy the game, Johnson, from Osun State, told Channels Television that he started playing it at a young age.

The board game has gotten him fame having won many laurels including three gold medals at the 20th National Sports Festival held recently in Edo State.

“I was 13 years old when I started playing the game. I did not learn it from anyone,” said Johnson, the first gold medalist when the game was introduced at the 11th National Sports Festival, held in Imo State in 1998.

“One day, I just called my dad and told him, ‘Let me play this game with you!’ And I defeated my dad 12-0.”

“I did not have any coach to train with. My talent is from Almighty God. Nobody trained me. In my family compound back then, they played the game.”

How It Is Played

The dream to make the game part of the Olympics will face many hurdles. Facebook/National Sports Festival – Edo 2020

 

The version of the game played by Johnson might be a popular one in Nigeria but in several nations and ethnic groups in the country, there are slight variations.

For the Yorubas, Ogundiran noted that two types of materials – a twelve-hole rectangular wooden box and 48 Ayò seeds, which are now made of marble or plastic-like seeds, are used for the game.

“Four seeds are placed in each hole. Only two people can play the game, and each player will have six holes on his/her side-24 seeds for each player. Two individuals take turns to play the game by distributing the seeds from one hole into the other holes in an anti-clockwise direction,” he explained, describing it as “what we call sowing. If there are three or fewer Ayò seeds on the opponent’s side, the player collects those.

“The players take turns to play until they exhaust the seeds, or it becomes practically impossible for one of the players to make any move. The goal of the game is to capture as many seeds of the opponent as possible. The player with the most number of seeds wins the game.”

 A ‘Central Role’

Beyond the joy of victory, the game is an integral part of the lifestyle in most communities.

In many towns and villages, it is a common sight to see people gather under shaded trees in the evenings playing it while trying to cool off after the day’s job.

At other times, the elderly converge at palm wine joints, engaging each other in the game.

Aside from adults, children and teenagers also have a thing for it. In most rural areas, kids of varying ages usually gather in village squares to prove their mettle.

It also offers more than recreational values – as most seemingly mundane things in the continent have spiritual undertones. This explains why it is an integral part of festivals in some communities. The game is one of the highlights of the Osun Osogbo Festival in Osun State where winners go home with various prizes.

“The spirituality of Ayò Olọ́pọ́n derives from its central role in our history. It connects us to the past and the deified ancestors who invented the game,” added Ogundiran, who is also the Editor-In-Chief of the African Archaeological Review.

“In another vein, Ayò Olọ́pọ́n is a game where the character (ìwà), patience (ìfarabàlẹ̀), insight (ojú-inú), and deep thought (àròjinlẹ̀) are molded. Those who excel in the game are called ọ̀ta (the knowledgeable ones), and the losers are òpè (the ignorant). The game shows how much premium the Yoruba and other African groups place on knowledge and competitiveness.”

“So, to understand [some]aspects of African social organization, recreation culture, and modalities of social interaction, the codification of work and leisure, we need to pay attention to Ayò Olọ́pọ́n,” Professor Ogundiran explained.

Olympics Dream

As with many traditional African sports – Dambe, Kokowa, and Langa, etc – the game does not have the glamour and interest generated by games like football, basketball, and tennis to name a few.

Observers believe it has not been given the recognition it deserves and may go into extinction.

“I was more concerned at some point in time because the game is no longer visible as it was before,” the Osun lawmaker, added. “I hardly see people playing Ayò Olọ́pọ́n.”

According to him, if Americans are laying claim to basketball while Europeans/Brazilians see football as their own game, nothing stops Africans from pitching their tents with it and other traditional sports.

As part of efforts to raise more consciousness about the game, he now hosts a yearly competition in the South West state and his major focus is younger people whom he noted should tap into the potentials of the board game.

“Ayò Olọ́pọ́n can be well-branded and made to be so attractive to take a fair share of the multi-billion-dollar board game industry,” he said.

With Nigeria’s unemployment rising from 27.1% to 33.3% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in mid-March 2021, he believes rebranding the board game will make it a money-spinner.

“I see it as a game that can create jobs. Can you imagine we have a league on Ayò Olọ́pọ́n! Those who come to play, we have to kit them,” the lawmaker explained. “So, people can make materials and make money. You can have caps branded as Ayò Olọ́pọ́n; your favourite teams, you can have their T-shirts; you can have their caps.”

Already, it is played in various competitions at local and international levels. At the National Sports Festival – Nigeria’s “Olympics,” it is a medal-winning sport and registered as Ayo.

But the Chief Whip of the Osun Assembly also dreams big for it.

“One of my wishes is to see the game being played in the Olympics someday,” Babatunde, who represents Ife North, further stated, hoping that it would also be “credited as a game that came from Africa; to be seen as Africa’s contribution to the world.”

For people like Babatunde who wish to see the game and other traditional sports in competitions as big as the Olympics, there are hurdles ahead.

Before a sport is approved for the quadrennial sports fiesta, it must be vetted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and there are myriads of rules set by the 99-member body.

First, the sport must be governed by an International Federation (IF).

“This is required in order to conform to the Rules of the Olympic Charter, the World Anti-Doping Code as well as the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of Manipulation of Competitions,” read a statement on the Olympics website.

“It must also be practised widely across the world and meet various criteria,” another post on the Olympics website, explained.

“After that, the IOC‘s Executive Board may recommend that a recognised sport be added to the Games programme, if the IOC Session approves it.”

The multiplicity of traditional games in Africa is also a big challenge in pushing indigenous sports like Ncho to more international competitions, the Nigerian Traditional Sports Federation, explained.

According to the federation, harmonisation of the different African indigenous games is one of the first steps among many in the quest to have these sports feature in more international competitions.

“Let us come together in Africa to agree on the sports we want to sell,” the secretary-general of the federation’s caretaker committee, Ahmed Libata, said in an interview.

“Traditional sports are practiced everywhere; they [games] are in every country and every country has their own peculiar sports.”

While some traditional sports like Langa, Kokowa, and the strategy game are predominant in many countries in Africa, he noted the same cannot be said of other games which are peculiar to certain areas.

In a bid to resolve this, he noted the federation had resorted to decentralising traditional sports competitions in the country, limiting them to areas where each traditional game is dominant.

“That is why we have to [organise] maybe Ayo competition in Ibadan; Kokowa in Kaduna; Dambe in Katsina; Langa in Gombe; Abula maybe in Delta or Bayelsa,” Libata stressed. “We have to at least try to decentralize them so that they will be easier to organize.”

“So, when we find that the athletes [for a particular traditional game] are predominant in a zone, we try to put a competition in that zone so we can bring out our talented youths,” he added.

Continuing, he said the federation and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development are adopting a grassroots approach in scouting for talents.

“I know they [talents]are everywhere. That is why we are trying to decentralise some of these sports in our zones,” the scribe said, insisting that traditional games are quite popular especially among the younger generation but need branding to make more international tournaments

“If you see some of the games that make it to the Olympics, they are just traditional games that have been packaged and branded well,” Libata stated.

“And I see some of these games [traditional games] as what can be put on the global sphere; we will package them and brand them so well.”

‘No Sponsor To Support Us’

Ayo Olopon.
Mr Johnson, and others having a great time playing the game. Photo: Facebook/Johnson Adeoye Ayo Olopon.

 

Libata’s position on branding is not the only roadblock to more traditional African sports making global tournaments. Johnson, who has played in many competitions, says Dara, as the Hausas call the board game, needs “promoters”.

He recalled that prior to the All African Games in 2003, an exhibition tournament was held for the game as part of efforts to include it in the competition but “we have not heard anything again!”

“It is painful because this Ayo game is played all over the world. It is played in Afghanistan; it is played in Turkey; they play the game in Brazil, it is played in Trinidad and Tobago.

“And there is no sponsor to support us. That is the biggest challenge we are facing now,” the player, who took part in his first major tournament in 1987, told Channels Television.

“Our Traditional Sports Federation in Nigeria is working to ensure that in the next All African Games, Ayo would be introduced. I would be happy if the game is introduced to the Olympics or Commonwealth Games because my plan is to play it at the festival (Commonwealth Games or Olympics; All African Games).

“The game needs more promoters and sponsors because the game is played all over the world. We need help to popularise the game.”

Johnson may have won many medals playing the board game but he does not enjoy the kind of fame accorded those who play other popular sports like football or basketball.

Still, he says “we are making money through the game”  he takes as a hobby and called on Africans to “show more interest in the game because it is easy to play”.

While corroborating the lack of interest in the game and other traditional sports, Ogundiran, a former lecturer, Florida International University, pinned it on what he calls a “colonial mentality.”

He faulted Africa’s mode of socialisation, wondering why youths should respect their cultural heritage if the older ones see it as nothing.

“If Ayò Olọ́pọ́n is played in schools and there are inter-class and inter-school competitions, I am sure the game will not lose its relevance. We play draft and chess; why not play a game that speaks to the deep-time African history and culture?” the lecturer wondered.

“Africans suffer from a colonial mentality. We tend to neglect what makes us human and embrace what dehumanizes us.”

‘Potential For Learning’

He is, however, not the only one to have linked the board game and other traditional sports to learning institutions.

Research has connected African indigenous games to improved cognitive, arithmetic abilities, and general problem-solving.

Dr Rebecca Bayeck, who holds dual-Ph.D. in Learning Design and Technology and Comparative International Education, reviewed five African board games while trying to see if they held any educational potential.

Her research – A Review of Five African Board Games: Is There Any Educational Potential? – was published in the Cambridge Journal of Education. She found out that playing Oware, the name [Ayo] is called in Ghana, teaches strategic thinking and arithmetic. She explained that it also teaches patience, spatial thinking, negation, and decision-making skills among others.

Findings from the study also suggested that the mechanics of the game showed that it could prove handy in biology. Just as the cell, Oware is characterised by a series of cyclical, repetitive movements guided by the mechanics of the game. The Oware mechanics, she continued, can be used in explaining the concept of the cell life cycle.

In another study, The Use of Indigenous Games in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics, Professor Mogege Mosimege found out that African traditional games can change the teaching and learning of the subject.

“They do not only make it possible for learners to engage in activities that are enjoyable,” the lecturer wrote, “they have a great potential to help open avenues for the connection between concrete and abstract concept, between classroom environments and activities outside the classroom.”

Top Yoruba Politician, Ayo Fasanmi Is Dead

A file photo of late Yoruba politician, Pa. Ayo Fasanmi
A file photo of late Yoruba politician, Pa. Ayo Fasanmi

 

Former National Leader of the Afenifere Group and respected politician, Pa. Ayorinde Fasanmi, is dead, the Osun State Government confirmed on Thursday.

Pa. Fasanmi was 94 years old.

According to a statement signed by the State’s Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Funke Egbemode, the elder stateman’s passing was confirmed by his first son, Hon. Justice Obademi Fasanmi on behalf of the family.

“Pa. Fasanmi was an epitome of humility, selflessness and integrity, the statement said. “He made enviable and remarkable contributions to his profession, to the socio-political development of Yorubaland, and to the nation at large.”

In the old Western Nigeria, Pa Fasanmi served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Old Western Nigeria Housing Corporation.

He was National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in 1977, elected into the Senate in 1979, and became a member of the House of Representatives in 1983.

He also served with the National Constitutional Conference Commission in 1994, as a member.

The state government added: “Baba Fasanmi was a leader who demonstrated his love for our great country in many laudable ways; but more heart-warming was how he showed optimal concern for the welfare of the poor and underprivileged, and how he held leaders accountable on their promises of good governance.

“We also recognise how much Osogbo, and Osun State as a whole meant to Pa. Fasanmi, who was transferred to Osogbo as a Pharmacist in 1951, and he chose to live here till he took his last breath.

“His Alekuwodo residence became a make-shift Secretariat for a number of causes and movements of national relevance.

“The State Government of Osun appreciates all he accomplished in his lifetime, especially as a pivotal force in the socio-cultural and political bolstering of the Yoruba.”

 

Buhari Sends Condolence

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday paid his condolences to Pa. Fasanmi in a statement signed by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.

The President described his death “as a big loss to the nation,” according to the statement.

Fasanmi “distinguished himself politically by always standing for the truth, especially on issues related to the uplifting of the downtrodden,” Buhari noted. And “his wise counsels borne out of humility, deep reflection, diligent studies and experience will be sorely missed by governments at different levels, as he regularly and willingly listened to leaders, and always had a good advice on going forward.”

“The President prays that the Almighty God will receive the soul of the departed leader, and comfort his family,” Adesina’s statement concluded.

 

Yoruba Nation Living Like Slaves In Nigeria, Says Professor Akintoye

 

Professor Banji Akintoye says the Yoruba people are living like slaves in Nigeria, arguing that the Yoruba nation deserves more. 

Speaking while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s News Night, Professor Akintoye said it is sad that the Yoruba nation with all its greatness should be suffering as it is in Nigeria.

Professor Akintoye said:

“We are more-or-less like an enslaved people in this country, most of the people of the middle belt and the south are like enslaved people in this country, we are being ruled by impunity.

“There is no respect for the constitution or the law, the people who control the power of government in Abuja are doing what they like.

“There is no sense of responsibility in terms of security of the people, people are being killed and the government in Abuja is not really doing much, in fact for a long time they were not doing anything to protect us and they are using their power more to compel the authorities of our state to make it possible for the people who say they are coming to kill and maim and destroy to enter into our land and to take territory and settle under whatever name you may call it.”

As far as the academic is concerned, it is irresponsible for the government to say to a people who are being brutalised by a particular set of people to accept their oppressors.

This he said in reaction to the farmers-herders clashes and the solutions proffered by the government of the day.

READ ALSO: Miyetti Allah Has Presented Itself As A Terrorist Organisation – Prof Akintoye

Professor Akintoye further noted that he is suspicious about the intentions of the Federal Government with regard to the RUGA concept.

According to him, it is not a question of presentation, it is a question of the agenda behind all that is happening.

He was of the opinion that the Federal Government seems these days to be doing nothing more than to think of ways to get the Fulanis to be admitted into lands within the Southern and Middlebelt regions.

Still speaking on the clashes between herders and farmers, Professor Akintoye stated that the Yorubas are not opposed to Fulanis.

He argued that it is in the culture of the Yorubas to welcome people, adding that the Yorubas do not attack strangers on their lands.

“It is a traumatic experience for a Yoruba to raise his hand against visitors on his land,” Akintoye stressed.

Narrating what the relationship used to be in the past, the historian said; “Cattle herders were coming to our farms when I was a child; a peasant farmer’s child.

“We would go to the farm and we see the herder with the cow and we would play with the cattle and he would protect us and tell us not to go too near to them because they could kick you. He was a very nice person. He was not a hostile person who did his work.

“But now, there is an agenda. Not all cattle herders, but some herders come in to deliberately provoke conflicts because behind them are well-trained militias.”

Regarding the issues of restructuring in Nigeria, the revered writer held that Nigeria is a country of nations and not a nation in itself.

He added that each nation within Nigeria deserves to be respected.

For him, the issue of restructuring is a question of responding to the demands of the moment.

Four Injured, Five Arrested After Clash At Lagos Market

Festac
File photo.

 

 

A clash which broke out at a market in Oke Odo area of Lagos State has left four persons injured.

The fight which occurred on Sunday was said to be a result of a misunderstanding between two young men from the Hausa and Yoruba tribes.

According to the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Bala Elkana, the injured persons have been taken to a hospital for treatment while no death was recorded.

“On 18th August 2019 at about 10.00am, one Alhaji Adekunle Habib ‘m’ of Ilepo Market reported at Oke Ode Police Station that there was a misunderstanding between one Hausa scavenger and an Area Boy from Yoruba ethnic group.

“The area boy was carrying some goods on his head and was pushed by the Hausa boy in error and the goods fell down,” Elkana said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kill Four People In Fresh Katsina Attack

He explained that arguments ensued between the two parties which led to an exchange of blows, adding that friends of the two parties joined in solidarity fight.

The Police Command spokesman, however, said some people took advantage of the moment to steal and loot.

He said the suspect blocked the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway, stressing that what started as a fight between two miscreants almost snowballed into ethnic crises but the police quickly intervened.

“Police teams from Oke Odo Division were the initial responders. The Command sent reinforcements from the Operations Department, Rapid Response Squads, Taskforce, Tactical Units and Police Mobile Force.

“Divisions within the Area Command equally send reinforcements. The situation was brought under control and traffic cleared,” Elkana added.

He said five persons – Kabiru Mohammed, Kabiru Adamu, Bashiru Mohammed, Saliu Madu, and Yusuf Amuda – were arrested in connection with the breach of peace.

The command’s spokesman noted that normalcy has been restored with patrols ongoing in the affected areas.

He said the suspects would soon be charged to court.

Ooni Of Ife Cautions Against Incisive Words

Ooni Of Ife Cautions Against Incisive WordsThe last may not have been heard of the recent communal clash in the ancient city of Ile Ife, as reactions continue to trail the handling of investigations by the Police.

While one of the leaders of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Mr Ayo Adebanjo, faults what he calls the “selective arrests made by the Police”, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, is calling for restrain on the matter.

While the Ooni Of Ife received Yoruba leaders at his palace in Osun State, the monarch wasted no time advising against the use of words capable of inciting people.

He said rather than resort to bulk passing on who or what led to the clash between the Yoruba and Hausa communities, those in positions of authority should concentrate on engaging the youths in gainful employment.

Need For Mutual Cohesion

The monarch noted that the usage of inflammatory statements could ignite chaos in other parts of the country, warning that the issue should not be politicised as Nigeria belongs to everybody irrespective of tribe or language.

He said there are thousands of Yoruba extraction in the North, as well as many of the northerners in the South-west and other parts of the South, which necessitated the need for mutual cohesion.

The Ooni of Ife described the South-west region as the least volatile and peaceful among many cities of the world, where Muslims and Christians live without acrimony for centuries.

“I want to thank and appreciate the efforts of Afenifere and their concern over this issue, they are part of us and I hold them in high esteem.

Where Were The Politicians?

‎”What happened in Ife is very unfortunate and I want to appeal to all youths that it should not be turned into politics; they should be very mindful of everything happening, they should all focus on youth emancipation and the welfare of the youth.

“The questions I want to ask the youths, irrespective of the tribe be it Yoruba, Hausa or Igbo; where were the politicians before now, did they ever come to Sabo before the incident, why are they coming now? So it’s very important for us to read between the lines.

“Every victim of that incident were all youths, so we should focus on how each and every youth will have gainful employment, it’s very important for us to live in peace and have peaceful coexistence.

“We Yorubas have people living in the north and we don’t want reprisal attacks, we should be patient. There is a lot of virtue in patience and we should all focus on how our lives will be better.

“Let’s ask our leaders to be accountable, enough of using youths for violence and other things that are not good in the society. So we should read between the lines and look beyond that, I believe the system will take care of the matter and I believe justice will be done at the end of the day,” Oba Ogunwusi said.

A Northern Police

Speaking to journalists after the visit, Mr Adebanjo said Afenifere felt the Police were biased in the arrest of some of the suspects indicted by the investigative panel set up by the Inspector General of Police.

afenifere
Mr Ayo Adebanjo

He urged the Police to ensure justice and fair hearing in the discharge of their civic duties throughout the investigation.

“What we are emphasizing is that the Police are making it an ethnic cleansing. These people have been living together for over 100 years ‎and even when there was local crisis among the community here, they didn’t touch them.

“I would have expected an independent police team to come here and find out as we are doing, we have never fought here. We have been accusing the Police as being a northern police, we have always been saying it and that is why we are clamouring for regional police.

“How can you say two people are fighting and the two of them sustained injuries and you arrest one? That is our complaint.

“Our complaint is not that they arrested those who are criminal, a criminal must be arrested but not on one side, that is not justice,” Adebanjo said.

The Afenifere delegation also visited the Yoruba and Hausa communities affected by the crisis to commiserate with their leaders.

Kaduna Govt. Meets With Community Heads Over Crisis

Kaduna Govt. Meets With Community Heads Over CrisisThe Acting Governor of Kaduna State, Bala Bantex, has met with community leaders from different parts of Nigeria that are resident in the state.

The meeting, which included security agencies, was organised following the recent clash between Hausas and Yorubas in Ile Ife, Osun State, as well as the lingering violence in Southern Kaduna.

It was also convened to forestall any form of reprisal attacks in Kaduna State, and seek the support of the leaders in finding  solutions to the Southern Kaduna crisis which has claimed so many lives.

Resident community leaders comprising of Igbo, Yoruba, Igala and others from various part of the country gathered at the Government House, on the invitation of the Kaduna State Government.

Speaking, Mr Bantex warned those trying to incite unnecessary tensions in the state as a result of recent events elsewhere to desist from circulating videos, images and making inciting comments.

He appealed to the community leaders to prevail on their subjects to uphold peace in the state, remain calm and firmly reject any attempt to drag them into any form of violent behaviour.

Enemies Of Peace

“Those trying to incite unnecessary tensions in the state because of what is happening in Ile Ife, Osun State should desist from circulating videos and images with inciting commentary and calls to citizens for reprisals.

“Already, the unfortunate incidents in that part of the country have been contained and taken care of, so the government will not watch enemies of peace capitalising on the situation to cause problems in Kaduna State, using images and videos to incite reprisals.

“People circulating images and calling for reprisals are enemies of peaceful society, and all citizens must say no to them.

“The Kaduna State Government is determined to ensure that anyone or group of persons distributing images and videos calling for revenge are arrested and prosecuted.

“Citizens must support the government to ensure that every threat to law and order in the state is defeated,” he said.

Speaking on the crisis in Southern Kaduna, the Acting Governor noted that the violence was purely an act of criminality and banditry, contrary to the Christian against Muslim crisis as widely believed.

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Some traditional rulers at the meeting

According to him, the most peaceful local government area in Kaduna State is Jaba Local Government Area, which is one of the eight local governments that make up the ‘Zone Three’ called Southern Kaduna.

The leader of the Community Leaders Forum and President-General of Yoruba Traditional Rulers Council in the 19 Northern States, Abdulganiyu Oguntoyinbo, in his response said those responsible for the Ile Ife crisis did not represent the Yorubas as a people.

He urged the Yoruba community in Kaduna and Northern Nigeria to remain calm, peaceful and shun reprisal attacks.

“We are tired of blood spilling and we therefore appeal to our political, religious and traditional leaders irrespective of their differences to come together and find a lasting solution to the recurring crises,” Oguntoyinbo said.

While commending the Kaduna State Government for convening the meeting to acquaint them on the measures taken to protect lives and properties of citizens, especially the non-indigenes, he lauded the Governor, Nasir El-Rufai’s administration for the ongoing infrastructural development in the state.

Although the community leaders commended the recent steps taken by government and security agencies to end the attacks in Southern Kaduna, they expressed concern over the negative consequence of the crisis on the socio-economic development of the state.

Reports say so far, many lives and properties were reportedly lost in about 10 sectarian crises in Kaduna State in the past 30 years.

 

Nollywood Star, Aimakhu Now To Be Called Toyin Abraham

Toyin Aimakhu, Yoruba Star, Toyin Abraham.Nollywood actress, Toyin Aimakhu, has made a new turn as she changes her name to Toyin Abraham.

Stating her reason for the decision, the actress said “It is a family decision and I will like to be officially addressed as Toyin Abraham henceforth”.

Sources said she has refused to speak further about what necessitated the move.

It is believed that the change of name might not be unconnected to a number of scandals, one of which is the case of her ex-lover, Seun Egbegbe.

Egbegbe, a film producer, allegedly stole nine iPhones in a shop at the popular Computer Village Ikeja area of Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.

However, he purportedly told policemen investigating the incident which occurred in November that he had no intention to steal the phones.

Egbegbe said he had stepped into his vehicle to pick some money when the sales boy raised the alarm.

Niger State Hosts First Ever Christmas Carol Festival In Minna

Niger State Hosts First Ever Christmas Carol Festival In MinnaThe Niger State Government in partnership with its Ministry of Information, has organized the first ever Christmas carol festival with the theme ‘The Dynamics of Praise and Worship’.

The festival witnessed presentations from different choir groups representing various tribes such as: Nupe, Gbagi, Hausa, Igbo, Tiv, Yoruba, Kamokun and Calabar.

The festival which was its maiden edition also witnessed a large turnout of Christians and surprisingly, Muslims in the state.

Asides signifying oneness amongst the two major religions in the state, top dignitaries were also in attendance and they were full of praise for the Governor, Abubakar Bello, who despite not being a Christian, chose to show concern to the Christian community in the state.

Speaking through his representative, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Niger State, Nasara Danmallam, said that the Governor was full of praise to the Christian community and appreciated their level of understanding and peaceful coordination amongst the non-Christians in the state.

While promising the sustenance of the festival, he used the opportunity in wishing all Christians in the state and Nigeria in general a peaceful celebration.

The convener of the Christmas carol festival, Commissioner for Information Culture and Tourism, Hon. Jonathan Vatsa could not hide his feelings as he was also full of praise to the Governor.

He also assured the Christian community that the best was yet to come and called on them to come together in unity.

He wished every Christian in the state a happy and peaceful celebration.

Monarch Says Iwo Indigenes Can Emerge Ooni Of Ife

AbdulRasheed-Akanbi-Oluwo-of-Iwo-LandThe Oluwo of Iwo Land, Oba AbdulRasheed Akanbi, has led the chiefs and prominent indigenes in the town to their source in Ile Ife.

In what could be described as a journey of discovery, the monarch and his subjects traced their origin to Lafogido Ruling House, which is said to be one of the four ruling houses that produce the Ooni of Ife in Osun State, southwest Nigeria.

According to history, the only female Ooni of Ife from Lafogido Ruling House, Luwo Gbagida, departed Ile Ife to found the town today know as Iwo.

The Cradle Of All Mankind

Centuries later and after becoming the Oluwo in less than a year, Oba Akanbi decided to lead his subjects to their ancestral home at Owodo Royal Compound in Okerewe for the first time in their history.

He was received by the elders of the royal house where he expressed delight that he was able to trace his origin back to Ile Ife which the Yoruba nation believed to be the cradle of all mankind.

Oba Akanbi said Oranmiyan, one of the sons of Oduduwa, did a similar thing about 1,500 years ago when he traced his origin to Ile Ife.

He told journalists that it had now been established that indigenes of Iwo could contest to be the Ooni of Ife anytime the stool becomes vacant.

The Iwo monarch added that princes from Ile Ife can also go to Iwo town and aspire to ascend the throne of Oluwo.

“Iwo has a ruling house here in Ife, so it means that Ife princes can come to Iwo anytime and even aspire to be on the stool and also Iwo princes too can come to Ife and still want to do the same ( become the Ooni),” he stated.

The Oluwo said that the Iwo founder, who was the 16th Ooni of Ife, was the first road engineer after paving roads with potsherds.

He insisted that he was part of the ruling house and would be involved in functions members of the family in Ile Ife perform.

One of the heads of the Lafogido Ruling House kown as Sooko, Babatunde Adediwura, corroborated the claims of the Oluwo.

“What Kabiyesi said is the truth. There is no woman in Yoruba land that can be compared to Luwo Gbagida, who is the ancestor of the Oluwo of Iwo,” Adediwura said.

Northern Governors Condemn Onitsha Attack, Move To Avert Spread

Onitsha Governors of Nigeria’s 19 northern states on Thursday said that they have taken security measures to ensure that Wednesday’s violence that included burning of places of worship in the commercial city of Onitsha in Anambra State does not spread to the northern part of the country.

Speaking on behalf of the 19 governors, Borno State Governor and Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, Kashim Shettima, said that the governors, particularly those of major cities were in touch with one another on Wednesday and had taken some firm measures aimed at averting any spill-over.

A three-week-long pro-Biafra protest turned bloody on Wednesday resulting in the killing of scores with many injured in Onitsha, the commercial city of Anambra State.

The protesters were pressing for the release of detained Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau on Thursday in Maiduguri, Shettima said that the governors took the undisclosed measures, following media reports claiming that worship places were torched during the Wednesday violence in Onitsha.

The statement reads: “We condemn the Wednesday crisis in very strong term. We have been in touch with one another today. The Governors of major cities in the north in particular, have been in critical touch to share thoughts and we have collectively taken firm measures to ensure that the violence doesn’t spread to any part of the 19 northern States and we will also be working with our colleagues in the south to nip the crisis in the bud but we will not disclose the measures we have taken so that those who may want to take advantage of the Onitsha mayhem don’t know our strategies.

“However, it is surprising to the Northern States Governors Forum that any Nigerian at all can even contemplate any kind of violence when we already have serious problems of Boko Haram insurgents that are killing Muslims and Christians, killing northerners and southerners, attacking Mosques, Churches and markets, in an effort to kill all of us that do not subscribe to their interpretation of Islam.

“We have Boko Haram that kill Hausa, Fulani, Ibo, Yoruba, Kanuri, Ijaw and anyone they are able to come across. We thought that the existence of Boko Haram should have been enough to make all Nigerians fuse into one and fight a common enemy.

“It is really sad that any Nigerian can contemplate violence. We are not blaming any individual or group because there are security agencies whose job it is to safeguard lives and property and do investigations where necessary, we will not go into their duties.

“We beg all Nigerians to be calm and go about their duties in peace. We have got more than enough problems to worry about. We can’t afford any distraction that will shift our focus from the bigger problems of Boko Haram that has an ambition of sending the human race into extinction.

“We urge all Nigerians to be calm. We particularly call on all Nigerians living in the northern states not to pay attention to differences in religion and ethnicity but rather, should see each other as Nigerians with equal residential rights and fundamental human rights that include freedom to lawfully reside anywhere in Nigeria, freedom of worship, movement, trade, association, education, healthcare and other rights as provided by the Nigerian constitution.

“We particularly call on our youths not to allow anyone use them for any purpose because youths have suffered more than any other age category from the hands of Boko Haram insurgents and that is more than enough.

“Our focus should be on how to end the Boko Haram insurgency and not to be driven into any other crisis. We have suffered too much, we must say no to any crisis.

“As heads of Government of the 19 northern states, we will by the grace of God, do everything humanly possible to ensure that no resident, regardless of his or her ethno-religious background, is denied any of these rights.

“As Nigerians, we are one, we need one another and we must live as one people,” Shettima said, on behalf of the Northern Governors.