AFENIFERE, a pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, has criticised former President Olusegun Obasanjo for directing some Yoruba monarchs to stand and sit at a ceremony.
Obasanjo, some weeks ago asked the monarchs, who attended a road inauguration, in Iseyin, Oyo State, to stand up and sit down when he and Governor Seyi Makinde entered the venue of the event.
To that end, the Afenifere urged the former president to unreservedly apologize to the allegedly insulted monarchs.
This was part of the resolutions of the association contained in a communique issued at the end of its monthly meeting, today. The meeting was conducted at the home of the group’s National Leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure, the capital of Ondo State.
The communique was read by the Publicity Secretary of the association, Jare Ajayi.
The communique read in part, “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), were ordered to sit down. It was as though a military commander was giving orders to his troops.
“We Yorubas respect our traditional institutions, the arrowhead of which, are 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 god).
“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 rubbishing 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.”
Regarding insecurity and banditry, the Afenifere urged the Federal Government and security services in the country to be more decisive and proactive in combating instability.
The group stated, “Four approaches are hereby recommended for immediate deployment of anti-terrorism devices and proper motivation of security personnel as well as immediate engagement of local leaders in areas where insecurity is rife.
“Deliberate efforts should be made to get the youths gainfully engaged so as to make them unavailable for anti-social and inhuman activities.
“Cases of banditry and terrorism be discharged expeditiously. Perpetrators of banditry should be made to pay heavy prices.”