Mr. Olumide Akinrinlola, a key figure in Ondo State’s Peoples Democratic Party, has rebuked former President Olusegun Obasanjo for purportedly insulting certain monarchs in Oyo State.
In a widely circulated video, former President Obasanjo was observed instructing the traditional leaders in Oyo State to rise and extend greetings to Governor Seyi Makinde during a project inauguration in Iseyin on Friday.
In a statement on Saturday, the Ondo PDP chieftain strongly criticised the actions, deeming them as disrespectful towards the monarchs and the Yoruba culture, as former President Obasanjo directed the royal fathers to stand and rebuked them for not doing so when the governor made his entrance.
In his view, the former president should consider penning a formal letter of apology to the traditional rulers as a necessary course of action.
He said, ‘With due respect to the elder statesman, a father, and former president of our country, I am sorry to say that this is an insult taken too far. This is because traditional thrones are sacred and older than any president, governor, or any human being in existence.’
‘Traditional institutions are revered all over the world. The respect we have for our monarchs is for the throne/seats they occupy and not the occupier. The moment a king is installed, he becomes the oldest in the land and a father to all. Not because of his age, but because he is occupying a throne that is older than any human or government institution in existence.’
Insisting that Obasanjo was wrong, Akinrinlola pointed out that ‘being a governor or president does not make you older or bigger than the royal fathers who are symbols of their communities.’
‘We can’t continue to denigrate our royal fathers in the name of political positions. Can Baba (Obasanjo) order the Oba of Benin to stand up for him like that? I repeat it is an insult to take it too far. Baba OBJ should please apologise to the entire Yoruba race.’
Meanwhile, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, announced that the issue would be included in the agenda for discussion during its upcoming meeting.
Speaking with newsmen on Sunday, Kole Omololu, the National Organizing Secretary of the organisation, stated that they had reported the issue to Pa Reuben Fasoranti, the National Leader of the association.
Omololu said, ‘Papa (Fasoranti) and the national leaders will deliberate on it, at the general meeting of Afenifere on September 27, and communicate their opinion to the world.’