The former president asked the monarch not to allow Yoruba politicians to “add to your burden”.
“Don’t direct Yoruba people to support any aspirant, as we don’t all go in the same direction, which is part of our strength in Yoruba land,” he said.
and his wife, Mrs. Charlotte Sanginga, by the Ooni at his palace in Ile-Ife.
“All the sons and daughters of Yoruba land, no matter where they are or their standpoint, will come to meet you. This is expected because you are the father of all.
“Any one of them who says that he is interested in politics – just pray for him and let them go. Anyone who approaches you and says that he wants to be president or governor, just pray for such a person and let him go.
“Don’t direct Yoruba people to support any aspirant, as we don’t all go in the same direction, which is part of our strength in Yoruba land,” Obasanjo said.
The former president reminded the monarch that as far as politics was concerned, even in the pre-independence era, the Yoruba usually had two strong sides, adding: “Please, don’t let politicians add to your burden”.
Sanginga, a Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) national, and his wife, were honoured with Aare and Yeye Aare Afurugbin-Ola of the Source respectively.
The former president, who said that the chieftaincy conferment was in recognition of the director-general’s passion for the development of agriculture in Africa, urged Sanginga to see the honour as a challenge to do more for the continent.
“I commend Your Imperial Majesty for the bold step taken to honour this distinguished African who has dedicated his life to agriculture, food security, and nutrition in Africa.
“I want to assure you these new chiefs will not disappoint you; that they will not disappoint Ife indigenes and the entire Yoruba race.
“I know and I am sure that they will live up to the honour that you have bestowed on them,” he said.
On his part, Oba Ogunwusi appreciated the IITA director-general’s passion for agricultural development in Africa.
“I’m impressed with your modest achievements as a true son of Africa. You have been doing all within your capacity to ensure food sufficiency in the continent.
“All through the years, you have developed a passion for agriculture and the results are feasible everywhere,” the traditional ruler said.
He also commended Oba Ogunwusi for counting his and his wife worthy of the honour, pledging that he would continue to support him in all ways.