In a recent incident that sparked controversy, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo allegedly disrespected traditional monarchs during an event in Iseyin, Oyo State. The Council of Obas and Chiefs in Oyo State, which oversees the traditional leaders, has declared its intention to formally respond to Obasanjo at a later date.
Obasanjo was attending an event hosted by Governor Seyi Makinde when he instructed the assembled monarchs to rise from their seats, only to then tell them to sit back down. Oba Francis Alao, Vice Chairman of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs declined to elaborate on the incident, stating only that the council members are law-abiding and respectful of authority and would address the matter when the time is right.
Obasanjo’s action perceived to be effect of old age
However, the Onipetu of Ijeru Kingdom, Oba Sunday Oyediran, dismissed the former president’s actions toward the monarchs, attributing them to the effects of old age. His sentiment was echoed by cultural organizations such as the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) and the National Association of Public Affairs Analysts (NAPAA), which both demanded a public apology from Obasanjo for undermining the cultural norms and values of the Yoruba people.
YCE and NAPAA request an apology from Obasanjo
In response to the reported humiliation of traditional rulers, both the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) and the National Association of Public Affairs Analysts (NAPAA) called on the former President to issue an unequivocal public apology. They asserted that Obasanjo’s behavior toward the monarchs was a blatant affront to the core values of the South West community.
Chief Oladipo Oyewole, the Secretary-General of the YCE, issued a statement condemning Obasanjo’s actions, characterizing them as an overt display of contempt for the esteemed traditional seats. YCE’s scribe said: “It is a denigration of the status of Yoruba traditional leaders, our Royal Fathers, and a direct affront to the people’s culture, norms, and values.
The National Association of Public Affairs Analysts (NAPAA) also criticized Obasanjo’s actions toward the monarchs. In a statement from its leadership, Prince Seun Adelore and Mr. Jare Ajayi, the organization suggested that the former President let his ego overshadow his better judgment during the event.
NAPAA emphasized that such disrespect for core values and traditions negatively impacts the community’s development. They pointed out that Obasanjo, who often publicly embraces cultural practices, allowed his ego to undermine these values.
Obsanjo’s wife publicly issues an apology
Taiwo Obasanjo, the spouse of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, added an emotional layer to the ongoing controversy by issuing a public plea for forgiveness. She acknowledged that her husband’s behavior towards the traditional monarchs was both disrespectful and humiliating.
She offered the apology on behalf of the entire Obasanjo family stating that her husband’s action to the monarchs was unacceptable and uncalled for.
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