Nigeria: “Wẹ́rẹ́ wẹ́rẹ́ ni ikán njẹ ilé”: A blog regular challenges Yoruba leaders on “Biafra”-Kanu’s purported incendiary statement – Ajipeya Afunleyin

September 18, 2017


Wẹ́rẹ́ wẹ́rẹ́ ni ikán njẹ ile, an old Yoruba says: the termite destroys a building imperceptibly/in bits.To borrow an English saying which is very apt like the Yoruba saying above, ”eternal; vigilance is the price of liberty/freedom.

This saying is so commonplace that many great people have been erroneously credited with it including American President, Thomas Jefferson and China’s Mao. During the Nigerian civil war, late General Odumegwu-Ojukwu even got credited with it because it was a Biafran radio jingle.

These famous words are actually a paragraph by American Abolitionist, Wendel Phillips in a speech to members of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society on January 28, 1852.

Mass movement, for example, soil creep, is a slow imperceptible process of weathered material moving down slope and the only way to know that this is happening is to observe the effect of the slope-wasting process on features like tombstones, fences, etc.

A statement credited to Biafra’s(IPOB)-Kanu’s that all areas developed by Ibos outside Iboland in Nigeria (I am more concerned with Yorubaland, the implied target of the wild claim) is part of Biafra as well as a discussion on a topic along Ibo/Yoruba ethnocentric differences led to this short article.

Since I could not submit my comments to a group to which I do not belong and knowing that sending it here would get it a wider audience, I decided to address my comments to this blog because I find the list of recipients contains the names of this blogger. Because there is nothing confidential in the communications nor in Kanu’s incendiary statement, I am submitting this and will distribute my copy widely within Southwestern Nigeria.

What Ibos do in Yorubaland, they Dare not attempt in the North

Ibos’ taking effective occupancy of parts of Yorubaland and many of them boasting about it is, to the unaware, a slow process that in future will have far reaching effect. For example, they did not purchase all the buildings they own in any part of Yorubaland overnight. They did it one building at a time.  After all, as Tola Adenle writes in her contribution to the discussion, Akure was able to put a stop to Ibos in the town having an Ọba – Eze Ndigbo – who started to award chieftaincy titles when the Deji commanded the Eze Ndigbo to stop the practice.

Nnamdi Kanu and every Ibo have every right – just as every Yoruba does – to seek self-determination and that right can be pursued to achieve the goal of independent Biafra if he and other Ibos go through the recognised channel outlined by the UN. He oversteps his bounds however if, as some news outlets have reported him saying, that any property owned by Ibos in other parts of Nigeria (I am more concerned with Yorubaland which is supposed to be the target of Kanu’s wild outburst) belongs to Biafra. Hopefully, he was misquoted.

Igi gogoro má gùn mi l’ójú, òkèrè l’a ti nkọ. Yorubas need to be vigilant. We should be accommodataing without losing sight of the peculiar nature of our “economic  immigrant neighbours”  whose culture is quite different from ours. What these economic immigrants do in the SW they dare not do in the North.

We should come up with how to stop the menace of giving away our territory  because of our hospitable nature without appearing to be xenophobic.

I believe that Kanu of “Biafra” separatist IPOB has thrown a gauntlet to Yorubas in the incendiary statement referenced above.


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2017. 3:29 [GMT]


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2 Comments on “Nigeria: “Wẹ́rẹ́ wẹ́rẹ́ ni ikán njẹ ilé”: A blog regular challenges Yoruba leaders on “Biafra”-Kanu’s purported incendiary statement – Ajipeya Afunleyin”

  1. Teslim Opemipo Omipidan Says:

    Oh! Kanu really crossed his boundary making the above statement. The Igbos are dominant in nature and to prevent this in our land, we have to be vigilant and take necessary actions without appearing xenophobic as said above. This is really nice. Thank you, Mrs. Tola.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Ope,

      Thanks for your comments. Continued coexistence is beneficial to us all and is possible and desirable but we must respect each other. Kanu definitely crossed the border of civility and common sense.




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