A group comprising royal fathers from Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara and Kogi States, has insisted that the manner ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo ordered monarchs present at a project inauguration in Iseyin, Oyo State last Friday, was condemnable.
The royal fathers’ group, Yoruba Obas Forum subsequently demanded a public apology from the ex-President.
Obasanjo, at the event, had berated the monarchs for refusing to rise to welcome the governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, noting that the action of the royal fathers was tantamount to disrespect for the office of the governor.
Displeased by how the monarchs treated Makinde, Obasanjo had ordered them to rise from their seats, an order they all responded to.
The action of the ex-President however attracted severe criticism, but while explaining why he ordered the monarchs to stand up, Obasanjo in a statement, said the governor, who is the one recognised by the constitution as the highest in ranking at the state level, deserves respect from the monarchs.
But 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, who is also the Olukotun of Ikotun-Ile in Kwara State, Oba. Abdulrasaq Abioye, obtained in Osogbo on Tuesday, said Obasanjo’s outburst was an affront and an intentional desecration of revered traditional stools in Yorubaland.
The statement further read in part, “On behalf of the entire Yoruba Obas, we are using this medium to call upon the former President of Nigeria (Obasanjo) to immediately apologise to monarchs from Oke-Ogun zone for his undeserved remarks over his claim that they failed to stand up when the governor (Makinde) and himself climbed 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 occasion acted in breach of The Act of Precedence of 1999, Obasanjo should have noted it in his speech rather than scolding them like pupils or military recruits.
“We think respect should be earned, not demanded. An injury to one is an injury to all. Yoruba traditional institution is not like a military setup that anyone can command at will.
“We condemn this act by Obasanjo and we call for his public apology to all the disgraced Obas and the entire Yoruba people by extension without further delay.”