By Bola Bamigbola
The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, on Saturday, said ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo ordering traditional rulers in Oyo State to stand and greet Governor Seyi Makinde, at a project inauguration in Iseyin, Oyo State, was tantamount to desecration of Yoruba traditional stools.
A short video of Obasanjo, who spoke in Yoruba language, had surfaced on the Internet, expressing displeasure to the monarchs for not rising to greet Makinde, describing the action of royal fathers as disrespectful to the office of the governor.
Reacting, Oba Akanbi, in a statement signed by his Press Secretary, Alli Ibrahim, condemned the former president’s action and demanded a letter of apology from him.
Insisting that Yoruba monarchs could not be treated as uniform men who would be ordered around, the Oluwo blamed the royal fathers who responded to Obasanjo’s order.
The statement partly read, “I trust myself and my stool. In death, there are certain things my soul will not take let alone when alive, active, and kicking. I only blame the monarchs who stood in obeisance to such an ignoble and desecration of traditional institutions from the old man. Respect should be earned not demanded.
“Traditional rulers respect their subjects too. There is a way respect is accorded to people of old age and position by monarchs. Kingship is an institution of God. As such, relating with kings requires a high sense of modesty, courtesy, and respect.
“The display by the former president of Nigeria, General Obasanjo was an affront, an intentional desecration and sacrilege against revered stools of Yorubaland. An injury to one is an injury to all. Yoruba traditional rulers are not uniform men anyone can command at will. I don’t blame him, those royal fathers who stood up to obey such an embarrassing direction are to be blamed.
“The show by the former general is condemnable. Yoruba traditional institutions demand an apology for the open desecration to molest and bring down the institution. He needs to prove himself as a core Yoruba man with an apology letter. Kings are not toddlers. We are fathers. He will never dare that against the Northern Emirs.”