Group warns against incessant attacks on Ife by ‘Modakeke war drummers’

Group warns against incessant attacks on Ife by ‘Modakeke war drummers’

A group, Ife Intellectuals, has warned against the incessant attacks on both persons and properties of Ife people by those it described as “trigger-happy and machete-wielding Modakeke trouble seekers.”

A statement made avilable to newsmen on Thursday by the Secretary, Ife Intellectuals, Comrade Kolawole Jimoh Oladipo, said there may be total breakdown of law and order in Ile-Ife and its environs in no distant time, if the wanton killings and destruction of properties are not checked.

“The latest round of wanton killings of an Ife chief and two others, with two more persons feared killed (but corpses not found yet), by Modakeke bandits is the height of the incessant attacks on both the persons and properties of the Ife people. The situation is so tense presently that if the trigger-happy and machete-wielding Modakeke trouble seekers are not checked, there may be total breakdown of law and order in Ile-Ife and its environs in no distant time.

“The following are instances of the murderous and thieving activities of these marauders that the peace-loving and law-abiding Ife people have endured till now:

“Modakeke has forcefully taken over nothing less than one hundred Ife villages in recent times by terrorizing, killing, maiming and kidnapping the ancestral owners of those farmlands and thereby scaring the survivors out of the villages.

“This unchecked affront of the Modakeke bandits gave them the insolent audacity to launch further attacks on Toro, Yekere and Alape villages and to illegally annex and rename same as belonging to Modakeke in successive order between October and December, 2023.

“The village heads and royal highnesses of groups of villages installed/crowned by the Ooni, including Olu of Toro and Oloyere of Oyere, were sacked from their ancestral domains of authority. All attempts by the ancestral owners of those farmlands to lawfully re-possess them with the police who have at various times accompanied them there to enforce court judgements have been flagrantly and forcefully resisted by the Modakeke miscreants who have illegally taken possession of the farms cultivated and nurtured by Ife farmers.

“The gruesome murder of Chief Adesoji Adedire of Wanisanni village and two others, with two more persons missing till now, along that axis on Tuesday March 19, 2024 is the latest in the Modakeke’s acts of aggression against Ife. Chief Adedire was not merely killed, but his two arms were chopped off and carted away apparently for ritual purposes. Such a dastardly act! Oftentimes when the Modakeke killers and pillagers have carried out their nefarious acts, they are the ones that would rush to the public claiming that Ife is maltreating and killing them, like it happened about three years ago at Toro.

“They are the aggressors and they play the victims at the same time, thereby painting Ife natives as a set of evil and hostile people. As they play out their separatist and expansionist agenda in the farmlands of Ife, so they do in Ile-Ife township. Modakeke as a community was resettled on a defined space within Ile-Ife on their return in 1922 during the reign of Ooni Ademiluyi Ajagun after they were dispersed in 1909. They were resettled not as a separate town, but an integral part of Ile-Ife. This was reasserted in the Bode George panel’s 11-point Ife-Modakeke crisis settlement document of the year 2000.

“Apart from Modakeke sticking to their gun on being a separate town from Ife, they have gone on clandestine Ife streets renaming as Modakeke. This is obvious on IBEDC bills with regard to places like Lagere, Akarabata, Ijedu, Urban-Day Grammar School area, Aderemi Road, Isale-Agbara, just to mention but a few. As part of measures to consolidate this land-grabbing agenda, a new market was established at Akarabata on Saturday 23rd March by the Modakeke people named “Arowolo Market, Akarabata, Modakeke” in an area with an Ife Baale installed by the Ooni.

“This is clearly the rebellious agenda of Ogunsua Toriola playing out. Prior to his emergence as Ogunsua, the then Chief Toriola had offered as his own “solution” to the Ife-Modakeke perennial crisis that for peace to reign, Ife must accept that everything to the right coming into Ile-Ife from Oduduwa University roundabout along Ife-Ibadan express way is Modakeke and whatever is to the left is Ile-Ife. All the places being illegally renamed as Modakeke are on the said right side of the road, including Ife Central Local Government secretariat.

“Let the whole world know that the stealthy movement of the leopard is not an act of cowardice. That Ife people are maintaining the peace in the face of constant provocations by the Modakeke dwellers does not mean Modakeke has a monopoly of violence; 1997-2000 war is an attestation.

“Whatever the Modakeke people may have stockpiled that is spurring them on in their aggressive acts against Ife people who have been so benevolent to them would not save them when Ife is pushed to the wall like the proverbial sheep. What is keeping us calm till now is the peaceful disposition and advocacy of His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi. This may not last long. It is high time Modakeke “war drummers” were called to order by the government and all people of goodwill to preempt an eventual outbreak of that war. A stitch in time saves nine, says an adage,” Oladipo said.

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