Palace Watch

‘Yoruba nation can’t be overrun’ – Ooni of Ife

By Gabriel Omonhinmin

The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has called on the Nigerian government to do all within its powers to overhaul the country’s security architecture, stressing that the security agencies will be in a position to nip all crimes in the bud before they happen, as “Prevention is better than cure.”

The Ooni lamented that “Exactly a year now, the Igangan massacre took place in Oyo State. As if it is a plan to remind the Yoruba race about this ugly incident, another barbaric attack had again been carried out by alleged bandits. These particular attacks in Owo, Ondo State, have left a number of innocent worshipers dead in St. Francis Catholic Church, in Owa-Iuwa, Owo, Ondo State, as we grieved this ugly incident, let it be known, that the Yoruba people are no longer finding these types of killings funny. The Paramount ruler added, “These attacks by bandits have further polarized the country and put the Nigerian nation on edge.

“This gruesome massacre and dastardly acts are gradually becoming very clear to all that the Yoruba nation is a target, as they deliberately want to plug our region into crises and make it a war zone.”

Ooni of Ife
Ooni of Ife

The Ooni said, “Let it be very clear to all and sundry that the Yoruba people have the capacity to defend themselves in all ways possible if the push comes to the show, even though the Yoruba people are generally peace loving people.”

These were contained in a press statement issued by the Director of Media and Public Affairs, Otunba Moses Olafare. The Ooni warned against the plans by any bloodsucking groups within and outside the country, to create disharmony and further polarize Nigeria.

The Ooni said, “Although some of these groups, who are the enemies of Nigeria and Nigerians have vowed to destabilize the South West region of Nigeria and heightened the vulnerability of Nigerians especially the poor, who are often the victims of these violent attacks, the Yoruba people as a race as co- stakeholders in the Nigerian enterprise, will continue to preach peace and peaceful co-existence, no matter the provocation.

“We should all be reminded that Sunday 6th June 2022, made it exactly a year when an invading gang of killer herdsmen killed at least over 20 people in Igangan, Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State. In that particular incident, several houses, which included the Palace of the Asigangan and a popular petroleum station were burnt in the attacks at midnight when people were in their beds sleeping in their respective homes.”

Ooni Ogunwusi, who is the co-Chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN), explained that there have been reports that some criminals are currently working to invade and wreak havoc on the entire Yoruba land, such as the one that just happened in Owo town in Ondo State.

He continued, “When calamities like this befall us without a single trace, the interpretation is that the intelligence unit of our country’s security architecture is probably faulty or completely missing. However, we the descendants of Oduduwa cannot be overrun in our own homes as we are prepared and ready to defend ourselves against external aggression of invaders.

“Rather than discouraging us, this will rather strengthen us, especially in our resolve to deploy manpower, resources and technology towards the protection of lives and properties in our various kingdoms.

Read Also: Minister charges officers to hunt down perpetrators of Owo Massacre

“The six governors across the South West region and their brothers nationwide as well as President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, are expected to live up to their oaths of securing Nigerians and ensuring safety for the citizens.”

The Ooni commiserated with the Olowo of Owo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye III, the entire Owo Kingdom, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the Ondo State Government, the Priest and parishioners of St. Francis Catholic Church, Owa-Iuwa, Owo, and the entire people of Ondo State over the tragic and senseless killings.

Speaking in the same breath, an Islamic Cleric, Abu Jabir Abdullah Penabdul, said that Islam is a peaceful religion and pro-life, and should not be associated with bloodthirstiness.

He said that sadly, because of the activities of very negligible few, who claimed to be Muslims, even when their actions and deeds do not portray them as Muslim, the Muslim Uma, are being inundated with the information linking Islam to bloodshed and terrorism such that some have equated Islam to terrorism.

He continued, “I know it is impossible to convince the entire world on one thing, not even on the issue of the Oneness of Allah that created us and the entire universe, but if we don’t defend Islam and present it to the world in its pristine form, the world will define it for us. Islam doesn’t encourage and will never encourage violence in any way in particular.

“The terrorists that kill innocent people across board, are often not on the social media, they hardly get to read or hear what people say about them. All they do is to strike and run into their hiding places. If and when a reprisal attack is carried out by the people injured, or relatives of the people killed, they oftentimes never get to know about these acts of reprisal. Even when they hear or get to know about what is happening to innocent people because of their actions they do not care. In situations like this, head or tail, it is the innocent people who go about their daily lives that suffer in the process. This is why we must be careful.

He regretted, that “Well-organized sophisticated media propaganda has been unleashed globally on Islam and its practitioners and Islam has suddenly become the black-sheep of religion worldwide. Most people with discerning minds, still know, that the true essence of the word Islam preaches and teaches peace.

“We find in the Glorious Qur’an verses prohibiting, warning and discouraging Muslims from killing innocent souls. But somehow, those verses are not trending in the media landscape because nobody wants to hear good news about Islam once it has been painted to be evil.

Allah says in Qur’an Chapter 5:32: “If anyone killed a person, not in retaliation of murder, or (and) spread mischief in the land – it’s as if, such a person has killed all mankind, and if anyone save a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.”

“What does retaliation of murder means? Retaliation of murder as in the case of a soul for a soul and not mob action against innocent souls. A case of apostasy, a case of Zina, a case of highway robbery or their likes.

“In one verse, the Muslims have been warned from any thought of killing an innocent soul and at the same time introduced to the nobility of saving a life in the most encouraging way. When we save one life as Muslims, we have saved the entire humanity. The reward for such actions is usually immense.

'Yoruba nation can't be overrun' - Ooni of Ife

“I want the thread to be short, otherwise, we have many verses and Hadith of the Prophet, peace be upon him, on the dangers of bloodshed and the greatness of refraining from that.” He added.

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