The Pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, has strongly criticized former President Olusegun Obasanjo for what it considers a disrespectful act towards traditional rulers in Oyo State.
They point to an incident where Obasanjo ordered the monarchs at a public function in Iseyin, Oyo State, to “stand up and sit down” upon his and Governor Seyi Makinde’s entrance to the event.
In a communique issued following their meeting in Akure, Ondo State, Afenifere condemned Obasanjo’s behaviour and called for a public apology from the former president to the monarchs. The communique was read by Mr. Jare Ajayi, the Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, at the residence of Afenifere’s leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure.
Afenifere emphasized the deep respect that Yoruba culture holds for traditional institutions, particularly traditional rulers, who have a significant spiritual and cultural status, often described as “Igbakeji Orisa” or second in command to the gods. They insist that the attempt to ridicule the revered Obaship institution in Yorubaland demands a public apology from Obasanjo to the traditional rulers, as Yoruba tradition reflects the essence of their identity. Afenifere also suggested that royal fathers should be spared from the practice of standing up at public functions, a practice common in the United Kingdom and other places.
Regarding the pressing issues of insecurity and banditry, Afenifere called upon the Federal Government and security agencies in Nigeria to take more decisive and proactive measures. They stressed the importance of providing meaningful engagement for the youth to prevent their involvement in anti-social and inhumane activities. Afenifere also urged swift and thorough prosecution of banditry and terrorism cases, with perpetrators facing significant consequences for their actions.