A collective of royal figures representing Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, and Kogi States remains steadfast in their disapproval of how former President Olusegun Obasanjo instructed monarchs present at a project inauguration in Iseyin, Oyo State, last Friday.
The Yoruba Obas Forum, comprised of these royal leaders, continues to insist on a public apology from the former President.
During the event, Obasanjo chastised the monarchs for their failure to stand and acknowledge the presence of Oyo State Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde, stating that their action amounted to disrespect for the governor’s office. This led Obasanjo to order the monarchs to rise from their seats, a command they complied with. Obasanjo’s actions, however, drew significant criticism.
In his defence, Obasanjo argued that the governor, as the highest-ranking official recognized by the constitution at the state level, deserved respect from the monarchs. Nonetheless, the Yoruba Obas Forum, in a statement signed by its President, the Molokun of Atijere in Ondo State, Oba Samuel Adeoye, and the General Secretary, also the Olukotun of Ikotun-Ile in Kwara State, Oba Abdulrasaq Abioye, stated that Obasanjo’s outburst constituted an affront and a deliberate violation of the esteemed traditional roles in Yorubaland.
The statement emphasized, “On behalf of all Yoruba Obas, we are using this platform to call upon the former President of Nigeria (Obasanjo) to promptly issue an apology to the monarchs from the Oke-Ogun zone for his unwarranted remarks concerning their failure to stand when the governor (Makinde) and himself ascended the podium at the inauguration of LAUTECH’s College of Agricultural Science and Renewable Natural Resources, Iseyin.”
The Forum also noted that even if the Obas at the event acted in violation of the Act of Precedence of 1999, Obasanjo should have addressed it in his speech rather than reprimanding them in a demeaning manner.
“We believe that respect must be earned, not demanded. An affront to one is an affront to all. The Yoruba traditional institution does not operate like a military establishment where commands are issued at will. We condemn this action by Obasanjo and call for his immediate public apology to all the offended Obas and, by extension, the entire Yoruba community without further delay.”
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