Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has come under fire for allegedly dishonouring the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.
A viral photograph showing the foremost traditional ruler standing to greet Tinubu who is seated has generated a lot of criticisms on social media and other fora.
Many have described Tinubu’s action as a mark of arrogance and disrespect for the stool of the foremost traditional ruler and institution.
The spokesman for the Pan-Yoruba Socio-Cultural organisation, Afenifere, Mr Yinka Odumakin, had also condemned Tinubu for his behaviour at the ceremony.
The YYSA president said, “Majority of Nigerian politicians have no respect for traditional institution and this is part of the eroding culture we are talking about.
“That is why some of us who are stakeholders in culture promotion and development have extra-ordinary regard for Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
“Although he has areas of weakness but, believe it or not, he is one of the political leaders and heavyweight politicians who do not toy with Yoruba culture and tradition most especially royal stool.
“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was supposed to have stood up to greet Kabiyesi irrespective of the roles he might play in the emergence of Obas.
“It is disrespecting for him to sit down while a royal father is on his feet standing.
“Moreover, Ooni happens to be the foremost king in Yoruba land. Asiwaju should be reminded that denigrating Ooni stool shows he as no regard for him. And the way we present our Oba so as other people will see them.”
Also on social media, many Yoruba youths who commented on the photograph said Tinubu was wrong to have remained seated while Ooni greeted him.
The National President of Yoruba Socio-Cultural Association, Mr Olalekan Hammed, told THE WHISTLER that Tinubu’s behaviour was condemnable.
However, one of the aides of the Ooni, Moses Olafare, has explained that the Ooni did not leave his seat to go and greet Tinubu as some. people claimed.
He expressed appreciation for the concern shown to the Ooni but said the photograph did not capture the whole thing that happened there.
Olafare, who said his explanation was not the position of the Palace of Ooni but his personal effort to put what happened in perspective, explained that the Ooni was ushered to the high table while the programme was on.
He said that Oba Ogunwusi’s seat was just two seats away from Tinubu and as he walked to take his seat, he greeted those on the high table and they acknowledged the greeting in different ways.
Olafare said, “Baba Ooni had on Sunday arrived venue of the coronation ceremony of the new Oniru of Iru in Lagos state, HRM, Oba Gbolahan Lawal while Lagos Deputy Governor, Dr Femi Hamzat was making his speech on behalf of the Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu. The deputy governor as a mark of honour paused to allow the Arole Oduduwa to be ushered to the high table where his seat had been reserved.
“Right there on the high table, some dignitaries including the business mogul, Alhaji Razak Okoya had already stood to welcome Baba Ooni along the way, and in his characteristic humility, he started greeting everyone on the high table while he walked quickly to take his reserved seat which was two seats after Tinubu’s. Should he have ignored Tinubu?
“Let me emphasize against the wrong notion that Kabiyesi left his seat to stand greeting Asiwaju Tinubu who had remained seated responding to the royal greetings.
“He came in, greeted people along the way to his seat in his characteristic humility and people seated on the high table including Asiwaju also acknowledged and greeted Kabiyesi in different ways they chose to do it.” [TheWhistler]
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