Afenifere Condemns Obasanjo’s Actions
The Pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, has strongly criticized former President Olusegun Obasanjo for what it deems as a display of disrespect toward traditional rulers in Oyo State.
This condemnation stems from an incident in which Obasanjo asked attending monarchs to stand up and sit down during an event.
Obasanjo’s Request at Oyo State Event
Approximately two weeks ago, during a road inauguration event in Iseyin, Oyo State, former President Obasanjo made the request to traditional rulers in attendance.
He requested them to rise when he and Governor Seyi Makinde arrived at the event.
Afenifere’s Reaction and Demand for Apology
In response to Obasanjo’s actions, Afenifere convened a meeting in Akure, Ondo State, and subsequently issued a communique.
The organization strongly condemned Obasanjo’s behavior and called for the former president to issue a public apology to the monarchs.
The communique, delivered by Mr. Jare Ajayi, the Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, was released at the residence of Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
In the communique, Afenifere expressed its surprise and disappointment at the incident.
It described the manner in which Obasanjo ordered the royal fathers to stand up and sit down as reminiscent of a military commander giving orders to troops.
Respect for Yoruba Traditional Institutions
Afenifere emphasized the deep respect that the Yoruba people hold for their traditional institutions, with traditional rulers holding a significant status, both traditionally and spiritually.
These rulers are considered as having attained the status of deities, which is reflected in their title, “Igbakeji Orisa.”
Call for an Unreserved Public Apology
In light of the incident’s potential to undermine the revered Obaship institution in Yorubaland, Afenifere demanded an unreserved public apology from former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The organization stressed the importance of preserving and respecting Yoruba traditions and called for measures to spare royal fathers from the practice of standing up at public functions, citing examples from other countries like the United Kingdom.