Stand up, angry Obasanjo orders Oyo monarchs at eventYinka Adeniran, Ibadan
Obasanjo, who was the guest of Governor Seyi Makinde, was in Iseyin to commission the Iseyin Campus of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Renewable Natural Resources of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Iseyin.
The ex-President was the special guest of honour who unveiled the commemorative plaque and commissioned the project.
He had earlier commissioned the 34.85km Oyo-Iseyin Road project and was also led by his host governor to inspect the Fashola Farm and Estate along the Oyo-Iseyin Road.
But in an unexpected turn of events in Iseyin, Obasanjo, whose voice rang like that of an army general dishing out orders to his subordinates, expressed dismay at what he described as the monarchs’ disrespect and disregard for the office of the governor as they remained seated while he and Makinde were being introduced.
He told the visibly shocked monarchs that the Yoruba culture has regard for both age and position, adding that the position and authority of a governor or a President at any event supercedes that of any traditional ruler in attendance.
He said Governor Makinde might be young, but he occupies a highly exalted office that demands respect from the monarchs.
While he admitted that he did prostrate for kings and monarchs in the public while he was the President of the country, monarchs also did prostrate for any time he entered into the room.
Obasanjo said: “You monarchs and traditional rulers, I greet you all. Thank you all for being here.
“But let me say something: anywhere there is the President or a governor, there is no monarch or king; he has to stand up for the governor or President.”
He then ordered the monarchs to stand up, after which he ordered them to sit down.
He then proceeded further to lecture on the values that are respected in Yorubaland.
“Please, in Yorubaland, there are two things that we respect among others: age and position,” he said.
“A governor has a position that supercedes that of any monarch or traditional ruler when he is still the governor. When he is no more a governor, it is another thing.
“Even when I was the President, I did prostrate for kings, but when I entered into the room, kings would prostrate for me.
“So, let us extol our culture and tradition by promoting same.”
Among the monarchs at the event were the Olugbon of Orile Igbon, Oba Francis Olusola Alao, and the Okere of Saki, Oba Khalid Oyebisi.
Obasanjo later spoke on the dividends of democracy.
He said a democratic system that allows insecurity to thrive deserves to be jettisoned.
His words: “Democracy that nurtures a lack of peace and security must be thrown overboard.
“Democracy dividends must involve peace, security, stability, prosperity, wealth creation, employment and the wholesomeness of the society.
“Democracy that nurtures poverty is abortion. Democracy that nurtures unemployment is a failure.” “That’s when democracy would continue to survive and people will feel that yes, democracy is a worthwhile system of government that must be embraced.”
Credit: The Nation