Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is under attack over his alleged order to some Yoruba traditional rulers to stand up to greet him.
Obasanjo was seen in a trending video ordering some people believed to be traditional rulers in Oyo State to stand up and greet him.
The incident was said to have happened at the commissioning of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH’s College of Agricultural Science and Renewable Natural Resources, Iseyin, on Friday.
In the video making the rounds on the internet, the former president tongue-lashed the traditional rulers from Oke-Ogun, Ibadan, Oyo and Ibarapa, and termed their effrontery as disrespect to ‘constituted authority’, because they failed to stand up when the governor and himself climbed the rostrum for their addresses. “Wherever a governor or president is sitting, traditional rulers must show them respect”, Obasanjo was seen saying.
The elder statesman’s action drew the ire of of at least one prominent oba in the South-West who demanded unreserved apology from the ex-president.
Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdurosheed Akanbi, described the incident as condemnable, and an intentional desecration of traditional institutions.
Oluwo, in a statement in Osogbo yesterday by his media aide, Alli Ibraheem, however, blamed the traditional rulers at the event for obeying Obasanjo’s order. The monarch said the ex-head of state ought to have shown some respect in dealing with the monarchs as they are God’s representation on earth.
The statement reads: “I only blame the monarchs who stood in obeisance to such an ignoble and desecrating of traditional institutions from the old man. Respect 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 Obasanjo was an affront, an intentional desecration and sacrilege against revered stools of Yorubaland. Yoruba traditional rulers are not uniform men anyone can command at will. Anyway, I don’t blame him, those royal fathers who stood up to obey such an embarrassing direction are to be blamed
“The show by the retired general is condemnable. Yoruba traditional institutions demand an apology for the open desecration to molest and bring down the institution.”
Also, a socio-cultural group, Ebedi Frontliners, Iseyin (EFI), called on Obasanjo to apologise to traditional rulers in Oke-Ogun over his outburst.
The group, through a media statement yesterday, signed by its Vice-President, Mr. Bambi Abiodun and Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Segun Fasasi, said the outburst was unwarranted and not expected a Yoruba elder and traditional chieftaincy holder, as it has caused global disrepute to the images of the monarchs and affected their collective psyche.
“We on behalf of true Yoruba sons and daughters, are using this medium to call upon the former President to immediately apologize to monarchs from Oke-Ogun zone for his undeserved remarks over his claim that they failed to stand up when the governor and himself climbed the podium”, Fosasi said.
“We want it to be on record that with this action of the elderly politician and supposed statesman, we expect his apology soonest and if he fails to do so, we will want him to know that he is not welcome to step in any of the Oke-Ogun communities”.