Like what I and a co-researcher analysed at a recent conference, Ilorin has its own mechanism for maintaining peace and tranquility.
The intervention of His Royal Highness Dr. Ibrahim Zulu Gambari (CFR) in the proposed Isese festival in Ilorin was timely and necessary.
The Emir intervened because he knew that the tolerant people of Ilorin will not be so calm to be watching paganism being publicly paraded in their emirate.
Deborah’s case and other similar ugly ones should still be fresh in a sane mind. No matter how one might feel outside the shoes of the Emir, the Yoruba proverb which says: “oniluu kii fe’o tu” gives a clue of why he chose the preventive dose to treat the matter.
“There should be total tolerance where everyone is allowed to do what he likes”, one might want to argue. That is why it becomes necessary to call the attention of Nigerians to a fantasy called “total freedom” and an illusion named “total tolerance”. This twins only exist in our imaginations. You can’t see them anywhere. Regardless of how a particular culture came to be the dominant one, the reality at hand is that every place of human habitation has its own predominant culture and a religion which operates and rules in there, and which naturally knocks out a contrary ideology.
An instance is the case of the government of Nigeria not allowing LGBTQ despite the western pressure, because the dominant cultures/religions here are Afrel/Islam/Christianity, all of which see LGBTQ as immoral.
This loudly echoes the natural phenomenon of “the impossibility of total freedom”. Tolerance is limited, no matter how inclusive people try to be in their own domain. The only thing we can achieve when we try to make everything equal everywhere is to cause more war, more intolerance, as the West are currently doing while forcing democracy down the throat of the Arabs.
The rich Libya and Iraq are now in mess. Enough ocurrences have been recorded in the history of virtually all the major religions where intersectarian fights came up at different times. Later, each province became known for their dominant sect/ideology and any cleric/priest who is not comfortable is free to migrate to another province whose ideology tallies with his. It is only in the contemporary times that calling some people to tolerance has been taken as a licence for some other people to be provocative.
Lastly, for the records, the Emir of Ilorin did not just cancel Isese festival. He frowned openly at it and then told the state government to do the needful. Afterwards, the government intervened and then the Yeye herself announced that the proposed festivity has been cancelled. It is important to know that Kwara is geopolitically northern and Islam/Shariah is given a preference in the Laws of the State. In addition, Ilorin is an Emirate recognized by the State Law.
Trying to overlook all those and insisting that Isese should be allowed to “go on son” in Ilorin is just a quick way of cooking new troubles for Nigeria to deal with, and in fairness to this country, not Prof. Soyinka or any patriotic Nigerian should be adding to our problems right now.
Mubarak A. YUSUFF,