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The Ife/Modakeke Crisis: An Insider View



We are all painfully aware that the most recent communal clashes between Ifes and Modakekes ate deep into the very fabric of the Yoruba race. We have all watched in distress and anguish as our people in the two communities of Ife and Modakeke unleashed mayhem on each other. The loss of lives and destruction of properties that have resulted from these clashes sadden us all.

This is why I share the concern and wish of all men and women of goodwill that everything should be done to put an end to these periodic clashes.

Historical accounts have it that Ifes and Modakekes are sons and daughters of the same parents. As Yorubas, their ancestry is traced to Oduduwa the progenitor of Yoruba race.

It was the collapse of Old Oyo Empire in the 19th century (Rev. Johnson 1921) which caused a flood of refugees down south, leading one of the displaced Oyo group of people to settle down in the area known today as Modakeke.

Modakeke has thus existed as a town for more than two hundred and fifty (250 years) (Rev. Johnson 1921). It has its own traditional system with a traditional ruler and hierarchy of chiefs. It is proud of its record of healthy growth demographically, economically, culturally and its contribution to national development in all spheres.

Ile-Ife, the cradle of Yoruba race, occupies a pride place in Yoruba history; as such its traditional ruler, the Ooni of Ife, is seen as the Arole (custodian) of Oduduwa, the progenitor of Yoruba. Ife is the source of all that is Yoruba and the Ooni the father of all Yoruba people which today spreads over eight contiguous states of the Federation of Nigeria; be they Modakekes, Ifes, Ibadans, Ekitis, Ketus and so on. Not only does this position bestow on Ife and Ifes a pride place in Yoruba. History shackles them as well. They owe a sacred responsibility to defend and protect all interests concerning the Yorubas, Modakeke inclusive.

IFE PsychologIA Volume 9 no 3, 2001, pp. 21-29

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