Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of disrespecting traditional rulers in Oyo State after he told them to stand up to greet when he arrived at an event.
Recall that two weeks earlier, Obasanjo had asked monarchs who attended a road inauguration in Iseyin, Oyo State, to stand up and sit down when he and Governor Seyi Makinde entered the venue of the event.
In a communique issued at the end of its meeting in Akure, Ondo State, on Wednesday, Sept. 27, Afenifere condemned Obasanjo’s conduct and demanded that the ex-president apologise to the monarchs.
The communique was read by the Publicity Secretary of the association, Mr Jare Ajayi, at the Akure residence of Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
The communique read in part, “Afenifere was taken aback by the avoidable and unwarranted incident that took place at Iseyin, Oyo State on Friday, September 15, 2023, where former President Olusegun Obasanjo commanded royal fathers at the gathering to stand up (and after complying), they were ordered to sit down. It was as though a military commander was giving orders to his troops.
“We, Yoruba, respect our traditional institutions, the arrowhead of which is our traditional rulers, who, traditionally and spiritually, have acquired the status of deities. It’s not surprising that they are referred to as ‘Igbakeji Orisa".
“In view of the attempt to ridicule the respected Obaship institution in Yorubaland, Afenifere hereby demands an unreserved public apology to Obas from former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Our tradition describes who we are.
“As such, no effort must be spared to prevent the rubbishing of our noble tradition. In that wise, it’s hereby recommended that royal fathers are spared the trouble to stand up at public functions as obtained in the United Kingdom, among others.”