The fatal clash at Ife has deeper roots than those of ethnic differences between Ife and Hausa. Peoples of these different ethnic extraction have been living together in peace for centuries. It is thus pertinent to look further for an appropriate explanation, with the aim of taking society beyond such self-destructive eruptions, which claim the lives of poor working-class people.
Nationalism of different sorts is usually appealing in times of war. You see working people calling towns; cities; and countries- “our own” whereas only the ruling class can lay claim to these in the real sense.
The Sabo Area where the recent blood-letting occurred has been a peaceful area that has a great night life even during the Ife/Modakeke war. The Notherners living there speak Yoruba fluently. This was recently justified by Ooni Ogunwusi who said he personally knows most of the inhabitants of Sabo.
But it is also an environment where many youths languishing in poverty and with little hope of employment loiter. There is mass anger in the land, out of frustration. This is like a gunpowder waiting to explode at the slightest trigger.
Working people must learn to avoid crisis within us as this helps in putting us in more divisions that would in turn allow the ruling class to oppress us the more. That maxim is quite right that “united we fight, divided we fall!”
But the poverty so far, climaxing in the hard biting of the current economic recession caused by the ruling class has gingered the anger individually and collectively within the masses. Aside Ile-Ife, there has also been repeated clashes in Akure, and the pogrom in Southern Kaduna.
We must therefore never resort to lamentation nor mockery. Nor must we side by any of the warring ethnic groupings but show a good understanding; picking the few lessons for us as a class, including stressing on the social-economic bonds we have as a result of our shared exploitation by the bosses.
We must do all we can in building lasting solidarity and the much needed unity of working-class people in our struggle to emancipate ourselves and build a better world. We must state it unequivocally that the current recession which is leading to depression enhanced the crisis as people vented their anger on petty issues. The campaign for mass employment is a struggle with which we can further this idea.
Our efforts and energies should be channelled towards fighting for a better society for better living conditions and sharing unconditional; non-ethnic; and global solidarity with one another. We have only two people in this country and the entire world- THE POOR AND THE RICH. Such internal wars as is seen in Ile-Ife only pay the rich and their armament race
We the working people must always pursue peace amidst us so that our unity against the common oppressor would remain unshaken. Let us ensure proper justice to resolve issues and not on crisis and jungle justices.
Let’s build a generation that secures its future.
by Tobi Sidharta and Kunle Wizeman Ajayi