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Afenifere slams Obasanjo, demands apology

Afenifere slams Obasanjo, demands apology

Afenifere, a pan-Yoruba socio-political group, has slammed former President Olusegun Obasanjo for disrespecting traditional rulers in Oyo State by ordering them to “stand up and sit down” during a public gathering.

When Obasanjo and Governor Seyi Makinde entered the venue of a road inauguration in Iseyin, Oyo State, he and Makinde urged monarchs to rise up and sit down.

Afenifere, on the other hand, denounced Obasanjo’s behavior and requested that the ex-president apologize to the monarchs in a communique issued at the end of its meeting in Akure, Ondo State, on Wednesday.

Mr Jare Ajayi, the association’s Publicity Secretary, read the statement at the Akure home of Afenifere leader Pa Reuben Fasoranti.

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), they were ordered to sit down. It was as though a military commander was giving orders to his troops.

“We, Yoruba, respect our traditional institutions, the arrowhead of which is 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 gods).

Read Also: Yoruba group urges monarchs to strip Obasanjo of all traditional titles

“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 rubishing 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.”

On insecurity and banditry, the Afenifere called on the Federal Government and security agencies in the country to be more decisive and more proactive.

“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,” Afenifere said.

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