The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has remonstrated with former President Olusegun Obasanjo over the incident in Iseyin, Oyo State on 15 September where he publicly rebuked traditional rulers, ordering them to “stand and sit down.”
The incident had attracted widespread angry reactions among the Yoruba with many accusing the former president of disrespecting the traditional institution and culture of the people.
Afenifere spoke for the first time on the issue on Wednesday through a communique issued at the end of its monthly meeting held at the residence of its retired leader, Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure, Ondo State.
The organisation condemned Mr Obasanjo’s conduct and demanded an apology from him to the traditional rulers.
This is despite Mr Obasanjo explaining in an exclusive report by PREMIUM TIMES that he had rebuked the Obas for showing disrespect to the state governor, Seyi Makinde, at the event.
In the communique made available to journalists by its spokesperson, Jare Ajayi, Afenifere expressed its consternation on the matter.
The communique read in part, “Afenifere was taken aback by the avoidable and unwarranted incident that took place at Iseyin, Oyo State on Friday, September 15, 2023, where former President Olusegun Obasanjo commanded royal fathers at the gathering to stand up (and after complying), they were ordered to sit down. It was as though a military commander was giving orders to his troops.
“We, Yoruba, respect our traditional institutions, the arrowhead of which is our traditional rulers, who, traditionally and spiritually, have acquired the status of deities. It’s not surprising that they are referred to as ‘Igbakeji Orisa’! (second in command to the gods).
“In view of the attempt to ridicule the respected Obaship institution in Yorubaland, Afenifere hereby demands an unreserved public apology to Obas from former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Our tradition describes who we are.
“As such, no effort must be spared to prevent the rubishing of our noble tradition. In that wise, it’s hereby recommended that royal fathers are spared the trouble to stand up at public functions as obtained in the United Kingdom, among others.”
The group also called on the federal government and security agencies to be more decisive and proactive in the fight against insecurity in the country.
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