The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams, yesterday described as illegal, the Council of Yoruba Obas in the Diaspora.
He said the group was neither known to law, nor to the customs and traditions of the Yoruba race.
In a letter to all Southwest governors he warned that if nothing is done urgently to caution and sanction its promoters, the “highly-revered” Yoruba traditional institution may go extinct soon.
He said the governors as the number one citizens of their states, and “‘protector of our traditional institution’, any immediate or remote threat to our age-long monarchical system must be nipped in the bud through all legal means.”
Explaining why the group should be stopped, Adams said it was a taboo to replicate the role of an Oba or question his authority.
“That is why he is referred to as ka-bi-o-osi (Kabiyesi). In Yoruba land an Oba is not only a king, but a sacred king. As the custodian of history and culture, words of an Oba remain sacred and any attempt to desecrate age-long customs of the people must be crushed without any delay.”
He noted that Obas must have royal blood, among others, and that this custom dates back to centuries “but the activities of ‘Council of Yoruba Obas in the Diaspora’, if not checked immediately, threaten this age-long tradition.
“…members of this group, who reside mostly in Europe, North and South America, are standing logic on the head due to their inordinate ambition. In some countries in these continents, these characters now install themselves as Obas.”
Adams emphasised that “the coronation of a Yoruba Oba in the Diaspora is alien to our culture and tradition. In fact, it is an absurdity.
“An individual can be the leader/coordinator of a Yoruba group in a foreign land, but not to be crowned as an Oba….the promotion of our culture is legitimate but the usurpation of the powers of Yoruba monarchs by some shadowy groups or individuals abroad is sacrilegious.”
He called on the governors to immediately intervene and stop this ‘cancerous spread’.
“If anybody is parading himself as an Oba in Diaspora, please, call him to order.
“Let me also explain further that the issue of Yoruba Oba in the Diaspora does not affect all our royal fathers in the Republic of Benin. They were being delineated by the Berlin Conference of 1884/85. They all have their roots in Yoruba land, including that of Oyotunji in North Carolina in America.”