Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, has criticised former President Olusegun Obasanjo, for desecrating the revered Yoruba traditional institution with his actions.
The former president had during the inauguration of 34.85km Oyo-Iseyin Road and the completed Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Iseyin Campus, which houses the College of Agricultural Sciences and Renewable Natural Resources on Friday, lectured some traditional rulers on the need to respect culture and give honour to whom honour is due.
He said despite their status, it was important for them to honour elderly persons and those in positions of authority in line with the Omoluabi ethos.
Obasanjo, who spoke in Yoruba, explained that during his administration, he publicly prostrated to greet kings.
He said: “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.
“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.
“Even when I was president, I prostrated for kings outside, and when we went inside, the kings would prostrate for me. So, let’s always celebrate our culture.”
But in a statement made available to newsmen by his media aide, Alli Ibraheem, on Saturday, Oba Akanbi said Obasanjo’s action was an affront, an intentional desecration and sacrilege against revered stools of Yoruba land.
“I trust myself and my stool. At death, there are certain things my soul will not take let alone when alive, active and kicking. I only blame the monarchs who stood in obeisance to such an ignoble desecration of traditional institutions from the old man. Respects should be earned not demanded.
“Traditional rulers respect their subjects too. There is a way respect is accorded to people of old age and position by monarchs. Kingship is an institution of God. As such, relating with kings requires a high sense of modesty, courtesy and respect.
“The display by the former president of Nigeria, General Obasanjo was an affront, an intentional desecration and sacrilege against revered stools of Yorubaland. An injury to one is an injury to all. Yoruba traditional rulers are not uniform men anyone can command at will. I don’t blame him, those Royal Fathers who stood up to obey such an embarrassing direction are to be blamed.
“I have strong assurance that such will never happen with some monarchs I will not mention their name. ‘Iwo kogba igbakugba.’
“The action of the former general is condemnable. Yoruba traditional institution demand an apology for the open desecration to molest and bring down the institution. He needs to prove himself as a core Yoruba man with an apology letter. Kings are not toddlers, we are fathers. He will never dare that against the Northern Emirs.
“This action should be a great challenge to the Yorubas, most especially the Royal Fathers. This is the result when monarchs join Ogboni confraternity and becomes junior to a road side mechanical engineer or carpenter. As a responsible monarch, you don’t have to join any secret society where you may be controlled by a teacher or even a herbalist,” Oluwo said.