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The statement recently credited to a former Governor of Lagos State and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, that only three traditional rulers in Yoruba land are worth occupying their stools has continued to generate sharp reactions from different groups.
A socio-cultural organisation, Yoruba Liberation Movement, yesterday staged a protest in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, to protest against Tinubu’s statement.
But Tinubu in a swift reaction, has denied disparaging the obas in Yoruba land, describing the attempt to miss-construe his statement concerning the traditional rulers as a political mischief.
The group, led by Mr. Olusola Kazeem, equally paid visits to seven different prominent traditional rulers in the state to solidarise with them and acknowledge their leadership roles in the country and the state in particular.
Some of the traditional rulers visited yesterday were the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oba Omowonuola Oyesosin, Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, Owa Obokun of Ijesha land, Oba Gabriel Aromolaran, Timi of Ede, Oba Tajudeen Laminisa, and other prominent monarchs in the state.
At the palace of the Ooni of Ife, the group maintained that the present Ooni of Ife, Oba Sijuwade is a well respected traditional ruler not only in Nigeria but in the whole world, contending that the monarch had contributed tremendously to the growth and development of Yoruba race since he ascended the throne over 30 years ago.
The coordinator of the group described the statement credited to Tinubu as an outburst from an arrogant politician whom he said the traditional institution made, stressing that the Yoruba culture and tradition preach respect and humility.
Addressing members of the group at the popular Olaiya junction inOsogbo after the protest, the group’s Coordinator, Mr. Olusola said all genuine Yorubas should rise against the leadership of Tinubu over the Yoruba race.
It would be recalled that Tinubu was quoted by the media to have said that three traditional rulers were worth their office, mentioning the Oba of Lagos, Oba Riliwan Akilolu and the Awujale of Ijebu-Ode as the traditional rulers, while he did not mention the third person.
However, Tinubu has denied making the statement, saying that he was misunderstood.
“I have never referred to any Oba in Yoruba land as uncultured. I hold Obas in high esteem. I have so many titles especially from Yoruba land. Only those involved in political mischief will try to mis-construe the respect I have always given the Obas. They are just making a mistake.”