Alleged Ridicule of Obas: Analysts Ask Obasanjo To Tender Public Apology
… is a desecration of our core value
Sunday September 17, 2023
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been called upon to tender an unreserved public apology to the traditional rulers particularly those in Yorubaland.
This is to ameliorate the consequences of the desecration of our core values that his reported ridiculing of monarchs last Friday amounted to.
This call was contained in a statement by the National Association Public Affairs Analysts (NAPAA) issued in the wake of alleged ridicule of over a dozen monarchs at Iseyin, Oyo State at the weekend.
The statement was signed by NAPAA President, Prince Seun Adelore and General Secretary, Mr. Jare Ajayi.
It would be recalled that the former President, who was guest of Governor Oluseyi Makinde, commanded Obas (kings) to stand up and after they complied, he then ordered them to sit down – in a manner that can be likened to a headmaster commanding primary school pupils or an army general commanding his troop.
The incident occurred at the ceremony to commission the College of Agriculture and Renewable Energy of Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH), located at Iseyin, Oke ogun area of the Oyo State. Obasanjo was the guest of honour.
Governor Makinde had invited the former Head of State to make a remark after he (Makinde) addressed the gathering. It was when he wanted to start his speech that he (Obasanjo) took a swipe at the Obas for not standing up for him and the governor. Meanwhile, the Obas had been waiting at the venue for long as the two personalities came to the venue two hours behind schedule – they were in Oyo earlier in the day for the commissioning of Oyo-Iseyin Road.
Taking exception to the way the former president dressed down the kings, members of the public affairs analysts submitted that “the desecration of our core values and tradition has contributed and is still contributing in no small measure to the under-development that we have been experiencing even after we gained independence”.
They observed that most countries that have made it in the world were those that did not jettison their cultural values. Among those mentioned were India, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Israel.
“Although some of these countries too were colonized at one time or the other, espousing their traditional culture has been helping them tremendously not only in sustenance but also uplifting their countries into the league of the advanced and respected nations. In our own case, our political leaders and elites have derided our languages, our religion, our culture and traditional institutions.
The result has been the descration of our values and collapse of most of the fabrics that used to keep the society on a sound moral ground where injustice and corruption were at the minimal level.”
The statement by the Analysts went further to say that Chief Obasanjo who always likes to flaunt his espousal of culture by prostrating himself before some monarchs, by wearing native dresses and even speak (Egba) Yoruba language, allowed his ego to take the better part of him on Friday.
“Otherwise, how can a person who is known to have a lot of chieftaincy titles including a high-ranking traditional title in Ibogun, Ogun State, be so disdainful of Obas in Yorubaland?”
Going by how Providence has been benevolent to the former President including the knowledge he has acquired, Obasanjo ought to act and speak more honourably.