Apex pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has demanded an unreserved public apology from former President Olusegun Obasanjo to Oyo monarchs whom he allegedly ridiculed at an event.
Obasanjo had incurred the wrath of the Yoruba nation during the commissioning of a road project in Iseyin in the state on September 15, when he had ordered the monarchs present at the occasion to stand up to greet state Governor Seyi Makinde.
Since the incident, there had been reactions from different Yoruba groups who called on Obasanjo to apologise to the monarchs while others have asked traditional rulers in the region to strip him of all chieftaincy titles.
Afenifere has become the latest group to join the fray when it issued a statement on Wednesday asking the ex-Head of State to apologise to the monarchs.
In a communique issued after its meeting at the Akure residence of Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti in Ondo State, on Wednesday, the group condemned Obasanjo’s conduct and demanded that the ex-president apologise to the monarchs.
In the communique read by Afenifere’s Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, the group decried the attempt to ridicule the “respected Obaship institution in Yorubaland”, and demanded an unreserved public apology from the former President.
“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,” the communique reads.
“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,” it said.
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