Former President Olusegun Obasanjo ordering traditional leaders in Oyo State to stand and greet Governor Seyi Makinde, according to the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, amounts to the destruction of Yoruba traditional stools.
Recall that in a brief video posted online, Obasanjo, who expressed anger with the kings for not standing to greet Makinde at a project launch in Iseyin, Oyo State, called their behaviour disrespectful to the Governor’s office.
Reacting, Oba Akanbi, via his press secretary, Alli Ibrahim, in a statement, asked that the former President write an apology letter and denounce his behaviour.
He further criticised the royal fathers who obeyed Obasanjo’s command, saying Yoruba kings could not be viewed as uniform men to be ordered around.
The statement reads:
“I trust myself and my stool. At death, there are certain things my soul will not take let alone when alive, active and kicking. I only blame the monarchs who stood in obeisance to such an ignoble and desecrating of traditional institutions from the old man. Respects should be earned not demanded.
“Traditional Rulers respect their subjects too. There is a way respect is accorded to people of old age and position by monarchs. Kingship is an institution of God. As such, relating with kings requires a high sense of modesty, courtesy and respect.
“The display by the former president of Nigeria, General Obasanjo was an affront, an intentional desecration and sacrilege against revered stools of Yorubaland. An injury to one is an injury to all. Yoruba traditional rulers are not uniform men anyone can command at will. I don’t blame him, those Royal Fathers who stood up to obey such an embarrassing direction are to be blamed.
“I’ve strong assurance that such will never happen in and some few monarchs I will not mention ‘Iwo kogba igbakugba.’
“The show by the former general is condemnable. Yoruba traditional institutions demand an apology for the open desecration to molest and bring down the institution. He needs to prove himself as a core Yoruba man with an apology letter. Kings are not toddlers. We are fathers. He will never dares that against the Northern Emirs.
“This action should be a great challenge to the Yorubas most especially the Royal Fathers. This is the result when monarchs joined Ogboni confraternity and became junior to a road side mechanical engineer or carpenter. As a responsible monarch, you don’t have to join any secret society where you may be controlled by a teacher or even a herbalist.”