By Emmanuel Adeleke
The National Association Public Affairs Analysts (NAPAA) has called on former President Olusegun Obasanjo to tender an unreserved public apology to the traditional rulers, particularly those in Yoruba land.
Recall that Obasanjo, who was the special guest at the inauguration ceremony of Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH), Iseyin campus, had commanded the monarchs at the event to stand up and then sit down.
Taking exception to the way the former president dressed down the kings in a statement signed by signed by its President, Prince Seun Adelore and General Secretary, Mr. Jare Ajayi, NAPAA said the desecration of “our core values and tradition has contributed and is still contributing in no small measure to the under-development that we have been experiencing even after we gained independence.”
The group noted that most countries that have made it in the world were those that did not jettison their cultural values, citing India, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Israel as examples.
“Although some of these countries too were colonised at one time or the other, espousing their traditional culture has been helping them tremendously not only in sustenance but also uplifting their countries into the league of the advanced and respected nations. In our own case, our political leaders and elites have derided our languages, religion, culture and traditional institutions. The result has been the desecration of our values and collapse of most of the fabrics that used to keep the society on a sound moral ground where injustice and corruption were at the minimal level,” Ajayi said.
The statement noted that Obasanjo, who always likes to flaunt his espousal of culture by prostrating himself before some monarchs, by wearing native dresses and even speak (Egba) Yoruba language, allowed his ego to take the better part of him at Friday’s event.
“Otherwise, how can a person who is known to have a lot of chieftaincy titles including a high-ranking traditional title in Ibogun, Ogun State, be so disdainful of Obas in Yorubaland?
“Going by how Providence has been benevolent to the former President including the knowledge he has acquired, Obasanjo ought to act and speak more honourably,” Ajayi added.