What happens when ones livelihood is stolen

Many Nigerians today are all over the world working and living and for the most part making honest happy living. Their new-found homes allowed them to keep the wealth they worked hard for and make use of what rightly belonged to them as they see fit.

Here is what happens to Nigerians on their own very soil that we all shy away from talking about but forget that very adage Adie ba l’okun, ara o r’okun, ara o r’adie loosely means that chicken that stands on a thin line is as unstable as the line itself – neither is at ease.

About two weeks ago, another clash occurred betweeen Modakeke and Ife, this time it was between farmers in a village called Tòrò, a village in Modakeke and had equal number of farmers from both towns. For more than 300 years farmers from both sides have planted and harvested their produce, inter-married, shared memories of important events, well not without occassional hiccups but for the most  part, manageable coexistence, thanks to  Oba Adesoji Aderemi

The last long crises in both Modakeke and Ife started in 1997, handiwork of  Yoruba Premier King, Oluaye of Yorubaland this time a lot of permanent damages was done. All Modakeke farmers at Ogudu Village were either killed or escaped with nothing they could point to, to be theirs. Ogudu is a village based in Ile Ife however, for hundreds of years it is occupied by both Modakeke and Ife farmers just as Tòrò is in Modakeke but farmers are from both two communities.

Modakeke farms at Ogudu village were taken over by the Ifes, some have even been sold to non natives from out of state, deliberately. However, Ife farmers in Tòrò make regular visits to their farms and for the most part, they are unharmed.

Since 1997 hundreds of ‘peace talks’ have been conducted among elders, none of which resulted in getting Ogudu farmers back to their livelihoods or provided alternatives. In other words, the displaced farmers from Ogudu still live by the mercy of neighbours and donations from friends and family – charity is all good but for how long can one survive on that?

A group was formed in Tòrò and worked together to no longer allow Ife indigenes to come to the farms if Ogudu farmers aren’t allowed to visit their farms. Can’t anyone see this coming before now? If the government refuses to step in when the traditional rulers /elder have woefully failed, people will take power to their own hands and fight for survival – it is all that most people ask for anyways, to survive at least with a bit of dignity.

Oh, on this occasion, Oba of Ife was not available for any comment even though ‘his’ own son of the land lost his life. The king is 82 years old, I have seen the tone of his language changed dramatically in the last decades, even cautious but the truth is Oka ti b’imo, s’ile, o ti b’oro. Some have profited enormously from the crisis and would do anything to keep it going.

Having been born and raised in the midst of this mindless waste of lives and properties, I don’t condone violent to make any point no matter how crucial especially when I know that where my people are concerned it is the normal everyday people from both communities that always get the brunt.

What I know for sure is that both communities are here to stay, we just need to count our loses and find better way of coexisting together. How do we achieve this when so much decision is left for the royal family whose idea of a neighbour is synonymous to being servants?



19 thoughts on “What happens when ones livelihood is stolen

  1. All that is out of balance comes to the surface to be healed as it cannot hide its darkness. Light prevails no matter the conflict. You are a light my friend. Seeing changes coming as our earth has gotten so much light energy for high frequency changes. My prayers of balance to you and all involved.
    Heart to Heart Robyn

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Typical Nigerian setting…… My angle is that MOST of the common people are not always just victims but the very same perpetrators of the horrible violence. That is so sad. It saddens me greatly that all over our country people can take the law into their hands, cause untold pain and troubles for their fellow citizens and get away with it repeatedly. It is a problem that kept growing & growing. It has grown from mere community riots, to bullying in the name of tribal & regional interest. Now it has matured to insurgency in the name of faith. Pity…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is the main problem we struggle with today. Common people are the ones being used or volunteered to be used to penetrate into their neighbours/friends in exchange material gains.

      And you see, it saddens me that people can not see that this is exactly how BH was created because it will come to a time that angry youths will lose (some already have) their sense of reasoning completely and we will have our very own BH in the south.

      Thank you for the read and comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is troubling, because usually when injustice occurs the excuse people provide for inaction is that the judicial system is alien. The court system is manned by people who don’t understand the vicitims or their traditions or circumstances and don’t even care.
        None of these excuses can be used here, this is purely a Yoruba affair.
        The question is, why was this allowed to stand? Why wasn’t action taken quickly to reverse it? If it couldn’t be reversed (I can’t see why not), why wasn’t adequate compensation offered?
        This means the problem of injustice, goes beyond the fact that power lies far away in Abuja or elsewhere. Even within our enclaves, injustice rules. Is there something deeply wrong with us?
        I think what Yasniger and yourself say is correct, ordinary people don’t think twice about inflicting suffering on others, whether they are neighbours or strangers. This has to be challenged, one must think before acting rather than reacting like an animal. If we are to stand a chance of living in peace.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. jco – Thank you! If half of what goes on underneath is aired, most will loose any hint of respect left for Yoruba elders especially the royal families and again I am not delusional, everyone seems to have their big elephants to live with however, the issue with Modakeke and Ife is no secrets.

          Actually many Kings in the land just step out of it completely to avoid any confrontation with the king of Ife.

          Now our problem is not too complicated, but Yoruba can not solve this on their own otherwise they would have gone straight to the bottom of it since 1980. The government that can do anything would do a bit just enough to get votes – exactly what GEJ is doing with both of his recent visits.

          I must say that Babangida (as annoying as he was/is) did most that I can talk about, he even penciled in a separate local government for Modakeke so the people can be on their own because he can see where the injustice lies but the plan never materialised. OBJ only intervened when he was ‘cooking’ up plans to be life-president (third term).

          One thing I know for sure is that unless lawmakers / royal families get involved, no peace and given the ever connecting world we are in now, it is scary to stretch imagination.

          How I wish we have leaders with foresights.


  3. The least that Oni Olubuse MUST and is in a position to do before departing this side of the Great Divide is to put an end to this endless and needless feud that has led to the loss of – perhaps – thousands of lives. How to do it? Call Ife people to order because the two sides have inter-married and have so much in common now that it is better to hold to those ties that now bind rather than continue to dwell on some long-past puerile grudges.

    Early in my working life, I lived at a part of Akarabata Layout deemed Modakeke; I did not know it and believed I lived at Ife. I had long left my Unife job before I knew my address was NOT Ife; it was during one of the carnage under Oni Olubuse. What a tragedy!

    Oni Sir Adesoji Aderemi, as you rightly mentioned, managed the two communities to live in relative peace; why can’t the present Oni?

    Thanks for this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my God! I grew up on Akarabata Street, new in town, it was this place that I first realised the world around me is so much bigger than my village life. My family was there for about 5 years but the memory is bucket load.

      Like you, I still do not know the boundaries for the towns, I can walk around to see the spots but I refused to be sucked into tiny teeny differences that further separate us as humans. My uncle (father’s immediate younger brother) is married to an Ife woman, so I have 9 cousins including 3 sets of twins (she is super fertile 🙂 and you know Yoruba and twins, how could I or anyone in my family wished our own blood evil?
      When my father was narrating my family tree and mentions his paternal mother being from Ife, I just had to stop him telling me more as it was painful to hear we have been waging wars against our own blood for century, what a history!

      Did you know Ooni Adesoji Aderemi married a Modakeke woman? It says a lot about him and his governance – letting love prevailed over hatred.

      I do think so too that Ooni Okunade Sijuade owed it to humanity to call ajo to n’ironu, he is still well respected so needed to do it like he has never done before, he started it and must find a better way to get people to reason 21st century way.

      Thank you so much for your contribution, I knew in my heart that there are people out there who wish us (Ife + Modakeke) well only if we can help ourselves.

      Kindest regards,


  4. “chicken that stands on a thin line is as unstable as the line itself – neither is at ease” man I like that thought, will have to borrow it for personal use at a later date. this is an interesting and sad commentary on life in your part of the world, one that apparently (according to what I understand from your words) is not the ‘odd’ occurrence – pity that – however, I also believe that there are many more people there like you, who rise above this and are willing and attempting to make life so much better in the near – not distant – future and I salute you for it! now if you could just get my “friend” to do his job . . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading my rambling. Very sad indeed. Oh, I am not unique in any sense, there are thousands of people mostly youths that are helpless. Social media has been a great help, an escape if you will, with the hope that one day message will touch a heart or two.

      Glad you liked my chicken adage.

      Your ‘friend’? Oh please!

      Liked by 1 person

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