A consortium of royal leaders hailing from Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, and Kogi States maintains that the manner in which former President Olusegun Obasanjo instructed the monarchs present at a project inauguration in Iseyin, Oyo State last Friday was highly objectionable.
The Yoruba Obas Forum, representing these royal figures, vehemently demands a formal apology from the ex-President for his conduct.
During the event, Obasanjo openly criticized the monarchs for their failure to stand and welcome the Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde.
He viewed this as a sign of disrespect towards the governor’s office and ordered the monarchs to rise from their seats, a command they promptly obeyed.
Obasanjo’s actions faced significant backlash, but he justified his directive by emphasizing that, according to the constitution, the governor holds the highest rank at the state level and should be respected by the monarchs.
In response, the Yoruba Obas Forum issued a statement, signed by its President, Oba Samuel Adeoye of Atijere in Ondo State, and its General Secretary, Oba Abdulrasaq Abioye of Ikotun-Ile in Kwara State.
The statement, released in Osogbo, rebuked Obasanjo’s outburst as a deliberate affront and desecration of revered traditional positions in Yorubaland.
The statement further expressed, “On behalf of all Yoruba Obas, we use this platform to call upon the former President of Nigeria (Obasanjo) to promptly apologize to the monarchs from the Oke-Ogun zone for his unwarranted remarks regarding their failure to stand when the governor (Makinde) and he took the podium at the inauguration of LAUTECH’s College of Agricultural Science and Renewable Natural Resources, Iseyin.”
The Forum also pointed out that if the monarchs had breached the Act of Precedence of 1999, Obasanjo should have addressed it in his speech instead of scolding them like subordinates.
“We believe that respect should be earned, not demanded.
An affront to one is an affront to all. The Yoruba traditional institution is not a military hierarchy that can be ordered at will.
We strongly condemn Obasanjo’s actions and insist on a public apology to all the offended Obas and, by extension, the entire Yoruba community without delay.