The Yoruba Council Worldwide (YCW) has described former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s directive that traditional rulers in Iseyin, Oyo State should stand up and greet him and Governor Seyi Makinde, as sacrilegious.
This is as the former president on Saturday described as fake, a purported video of him meeting with President Bola Tinubu and also seeking a job from the president during the 80th birthday reception of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, in Abeokuta, on Thursday.
Obasanjo had on Friday at a public function in Iseyin, ordered traditional rulers to get up from their seats and greet him and the Oyo State governor.
The former president, who was the guest of Governor Makinde, was in Iseyin to inaugurate the Iseyin Campus of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Renewable Natural Resources of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Iseyin.
Obasanjo had expressed dismay at what he described as the monarchs’ disrespect and disregard for the office of the governor as they remained seated while he and Makinde were being introduced.
He told the monarchs that the Yoruba culture has regard for both age and position, adding that the position and authority of a governor or a president at any event supersedes that of any traditional ruler in attendance.
But speaking yesterday during a press conference held at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Jabi, Abuja, the President of YCW, Oba Oladotun Hassan, called on the former president to apologise to the monarchs.
Hassan said, “The recent weeks have witnessed a barrage of monumental embarrassments, ridicules and brazen abuse of traditional royal Obas and most shocking to grasping with this well-intended orchestrated embarrassments by chief Olusegun Obasanjo who dropped the biggest bombshell taboo in the history of Yoruba land, perhaps most disturbing sacrilege in Iseyin, Oyo State when he addressed arrays of first-class royal fathers and other leading Obas like toddlers or a village headmaster or Army General talking profusely at his foot soldiers in a most depressing, disparaging and disrespectful manner.”
He urged Obasanjo to tender an immediate apology within the next three days or face untold traditional and legal reprisal consequences.
“Furthermore, we shall mobilise all market women, youths, and leaders of thoughts against the Baba Obasanjo for desecrating the Yoruba ancestral cultural heritage, norms, tradition, and values. On this note, we wish to set the records straight that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is no longer the President of Nigeria, and he should stop parading himself deceitfully and impersonating or creating a scenario to command such ill-motivated authority.”
On his part, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, Telu I, has also described Obasanjo’s action against traditional rulers in Oyo State as a desecration of Yoruba traditional institution, noting that the Obasanjo cannot do a similar thing to emirs.
Oluwo, in a statement made available to journalists yesterday in Osogbo by his media aide, Alli Ibraheem, blamed the traditional rulers present at the event for obeying Obasanjo’s order.
The monarch said Obasanjo ought to have shown some respect in dealing with traditional rulers, saying monarchs were God’s representatives on earth, and that such a thing would not happen if he were around.
Meanwhile, the former president yesterday described as fake, a purported video of him meeting with President Bola Tinubu and also seeking a job from the president during the 80th birthday reception of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, in Abeokuta, on Thursday.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, the former president condemned the fake video stating that the former President is now in South Africa for the burial of his friend and brother, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
The statement partly read: “One, I have not seen Bola Tinubu since he visited me in my house in Abeokuta when he was campaigning. Secondly, I was at the church and not the reception for Alake’s 80th birthday reception.”
“To put the content of the video in proper perspective, it happened that during Tinubu’s visit to his house last year, he met the former President playing his favorite traditional game (ayo) and he started the banter, jokingly telling the former President that, he was shocked to see him playing the ‘ayo’ game at that time of the day.”
Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo