a picture showing moyo okediji sitting with his arms crosseed in front of one of his art piece



Is it merely a coincidence that the news of the abduction and assassination by suspected Fulani invaders of Oba Israel Adeusi, the Olufon of Ifon, happened the very same day that the United States is celebrating the annual Thanksgiving event?

There is no coincidence in history.

Nature times things with organic orchestration.

The kidnapping and execution of the Yoruba monarch on Thanksgiving day is a proverb to all Yoruba people.

The warning is simple.

It says, in clear terms, that the Yoruba people will go into extinction on their own land, just as the Native Americans have vanished with hardly any trace from their own land.

Just as the Native Americans are now called Indians, the Yoruba people will no longer be called Yoruba. They will be given a Fulani nomenclature and their land will be named perhaps in terms of geographical location, say, Southwest Nigeria.

Just as the languages of the Native Americans have also vanished, so will the Yoruba language and dialects vanish, and confined to obscure romantic ceremonies, such as the Native American Pow Wow events that we used to host when I was a curator at the Denver Art Museum.

During the Pow Wow ceremonies, we at the Denver Art Museum would rally up the local Native Americans and invite them to the museum grounds where they would dress in exotic feathers and leathers, and dance to strange movements, beating peculiar single-stroke beats on European American drums.

It is not right to blame the victims, otherwise one would claim that the Native Americans had opportunities to unite and resist the invasion and colonization of their land by the immigrating Europeans at various stages of their conquest.

But they did not come together. Each group, such as the Hopi, Cherokee, Ojibwa and Chippewa had leaders who failed to save their people from being crushed by the invaders with clear colonizing purposes, and focused violent tactics.

The rest is history: today is Thanksgiving in America. It is a celebration of the successful alienation of the Native Americans from their land, and the renaming of the land in Eurocentric terms, and the nomenclature of the indigenous owners as Indians.

The Yoruba people still have an opportunity to retain their land and ward off the Fulani invaders.

Every passing day presents an opportunity lost to fight back and send back the invaders.

The shocking news of the violent killing of the Olufon of Ifon is devastating and demoralizing to the Yoruba people.

It also presents a good reason to rally the people to bury their differences, understand the gruesome reality of their invasion, and protect the safety of their people, their land, their language and their values, before they are wiped off the face of the earth, only to become a footnote in the record of history.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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