The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), has mandated former President Olusegun Obasanjo to tender an unreserved apology to Oyo traditional rulers whom he allegedly denigrated in what they termed a “shameful affront to the dignity of Yoruba tradition and culture.”
The former President had, during the inauguration of projects executed by Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde at Iseyin last week, incurred the wrath of the Yoruba nation when he reportedly denigrated the traditional rulers for not respecting the governor by not standing up to greet him.
Obasanjo who took exception at the traditional rulers disposition of remaining seated when Makinde came into the venue, had ordered them to stand up and greet the governor.
“In Yoruba land, there are two things that are most respected among others: age and position. When a governor is still in power, he’s more powerful than any king,” Obasanjo was quoted as saying.
“I greet the kings and chiefs here sitting; I am grateful that you are here. Let me say this: wherever the President or governor is, the kings present must stand up to honour him,” he added.
The action from the ex-Head of State has continued to generate condemnation with the YCE the latest to join those asking Obasanjo to apologise to the Oyo monarchs.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the group’s meeting held in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State on Saturday, the Yoruba Elders criticised Obasanjo for “desecrating the Yoruba cultural heritage, norms, tradition and values” and demanded an apology and restitution from him.
The communiqué jointly signed by the YCE Publicity Secretary, Elder Niyi Ajibulu and Secretary General, Elder Oladipo Oyewole, reads in part:
“The YCE takes exception to the humiliation recently meted out to various traditional rulers of Oyo State by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo upon the claim of status as a former Head of State.
“This malfeasance constitutes a shameful affront to the dignity of Yoruba tradition and culture, and thus stand condemned. He should certainly apologize and make restitution,” it said.
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