Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has demanded an apology from former President Olusegun Obasanjo to traditional rulers in Oyo State for subjecting them to ridicule in Iseyin few weeks ago.
Afenifere’s demand was contained In a communique issued at the end of its meeting, which was held at the Akure residence of its leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, on Wednesday.
The organisation asserted that obas are the arrowhead of Yoruba culture, tradition and values, stressing that the enormous respect with which they are accorded accounts for why they are regarded as next in rank to the gods (igbakeji orisa).
“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’!
“In view of the attempt to ridicule the respected obaship institution in Yoruba land, 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,” the communique read in part.
Afenifere also drummed support for President Bola Tinubu in his efforts to rejig the economy.
It, however, called for new strategies to stabilise the Naira, reduce insecurity, provide employment for youths and continuous engagement of the government by labour leaders over removal of fuel subsidy.
“Afenifere reaffirms its support for the current government ably led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and calls on all well meaning Nigerians to support the government in the onerous task of rescucitating our economy and improving the quality of life of all citizens.
“In order to ensure the survival of Yoruba language as the most important element of Yoruba culture, Yoruba should be the medium of instruction from Primary One to Three. Thereafter, it should become a compulsory subject for every pupil in primary school and for every student in secondary schools. It must be offered as one of the compulsory subjects in the school certificate examinations.“ Afenifere added.
The organisation specifically called on governors in Yoruba land to speed up activities in regional integration, saying the roadmap has already been developed by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission.