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Oped: Why does Ilorin attract so many enemies?

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Yahaya Habib

Ilorin stands out from other Yoruba-speaking cities in Nigeria, attracting numerous adversaries since its inception.

I am not here to discuss the ownership of Ilorin, as many reputable scholars have already addressed this topic. We have listened to people from various backgrounds recounting the events that led to the establishment of Ilorin as a city.

Since ancient times, Ilorin has drawn the ire of enemies, particularly from some envious Yorubas who believe that the pride, achievements, and glory of Ilorin should rightfully belong to them.

These adversaries began with warfare, which did not end well for them. They then resorted to political tactics, but we emerged victorious. Throughout generations, some but not all Yoruba people have held a deep-seated animosity towards Ilorin for the following reasons:

– Ilorin is the only Yoruba-speaking city without any connections to Oduduwa, Obatala, or Orunmila. It was established by individuals who had no association with any Yoruba deities.

– Ilorin is the only Yoruba-speaking city that has never been under the jurisdiction of Oyo or any other Yoruba city. Ilorin started off strong and powerful from its very beginning.

– Ilorin is the only Yoruba-speaking city devoid of any known deities or worship, except for Islam. Islam has been practised in Ilorin since its early days, with historical records indicating that the dominant population before the arrival of Sheik Alimi were Muslims.

– Ilorin is the only Yoruba-speaking city that was established by a diverse group of people, including Hausa, Fulani, Nupe, Yoruba, Beriberi, Baruba, Bokobaru, Malians, Kanuri, Sudanese, Chadians, Arabs, and more. These individuals came together harmoniously to form the city and create their own unique ethno-religious culture.

– Ilorin is the only Yoruba-speaking city that governs based on the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

– Ilorin is the only Yoruba-speaking city that had a level of literacy even before the arrival of the colonial masters.

– Ilorin is the only Yoruba-speaking city of its kind, boasting a rich cultural heritage and a legacy unlike any other.

I cannot mention all the aspects, but I can tell you that Ilorin is a unique city that cannot be associated or compared to any other Yoruba-speaking cities.

Being an indigene of Ilorin fills me with pride and joy. If people had the opportunity to choose their city of origin, many of those who consider Ilorin as their enemy would have loved to come from this city.

It is inevitable for Ilorin to have enemies since it symbolizes the Islamic religion in the entire Yoruba-speaking world. To attack Islam in the Yoruba world, one must first attack Ilorin. This is the reason why Ilorin is always at the center of attention.

I cannot help but appreciate certain Yorubas, particularly the Islamic scholars, who have remained steadfast in their commitment to truth and have never aligned themselves with sentimental enemies trying hard to bring Ilorin down.

I am confident that no enemy can bring Ilorin down, as the foundation we stand upon is the Holy Quran.

Ilorin Koni Baje ooo

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