I Ordered Obas to Stand Because They Were Disrespectful – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has responded to the controversies surrounding his directive to traditional rulers to stand and then sit during the inauguration of two projects in Iseyin, Oyo State last Friday.

Obasanjo was the special guest of honor at the inauguration of road projects constructed by Governor Seyi Makinde.

However, instead of the projects, it was Obasanjo’s instruction to the traditional rulers, captured in a viral video, that made headlines.

Yoruba groups, monarchs, and other critics accused Obasanjo of showing disrespect to the traditional institution in his treatment of the kings at the event.

Taiwo, one of Obasanjo’s former wives, issued a statement on Sunday, appealing to the traditional institutions in Yorubaland to forgive her ex-husband.

In an exclusive interview with Premium Times, Obasanjo justified his actions, explaining that he ordered the traditional rulers to stand because they had refused to do so when he and Governor Makinde arrived at the event. He considered this a sign of disrespect for the governor and a breach of protocol.

Obasanjo also revealed that the monarchs did not stand when the Governor mounted the podium to deliver his address.

The former President stated that he later learned of the Obas’ consistent disrespect for the Governor, which prompted him to address the matter during the occasion.

Obasanjo emphasized that while he respects traditional rulers and Yoruba culture, there is also a constitution that designates the governor as the state’s leader, deserving of respect from all citizens, regardless of their status or age.

He expressed his belief in the importance of maintaining the balance between culture and constitutional roles, emphasizing that respect should flow both ways, and individuals should deal with their governor with the appropriate respect to receive it in return.