HEADLINE | Posted: Sunday, September 17, 2023
By Omeiza Ajayi
Wife of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Taiwo, has waded into the controversy that has trailed the statement of the former Army general at Iseyin, Oyo state during Friday’s commissioning of projects executed by the state Governor, Seyi Makinde.
Obasanjo who was special guest of honour had chastised some Yoruba traditional rulers at the event for not standing up to accord him respect as a former president. He consequently ordered them to stand up and recognize his presence.
“Please, please, all of you, the traditional rulers, I greet you. Thank you for your presence. But, let me say something. Anywhere there is a Governor or President, no traditional ruler, has to stand up and greet the governor or the President. Stand up, sit down.
“Please in the Yoruba land, we respect two things: age and position. The governor’s position is superior to that of any king in as much as he is a governor. When I was a president, I prostrated for kings openly. But indoors, the king would bow down for me. Let us respect our culture,” he had admonished.
The development has however drawn the ire of stakeholders including the Yoruba Council Worldwide, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdurosheed Akanbi and others who have asked him to apologize within three days or face the consequences.
However, in a statement on Sunday, titled “Oyo Kings: A plea for forgiveness”, Mrs Obasanjo who has two children – Olujonwo and Olubunmi – for the former president begged “for permanent and eternal forgiveness and pardon from all Yoruba sons and daughters worldwide, fathers and mothers, youths, teenagers and children, Christians, Muslims, traditional worshippers, all leaders in Yoruba land and the Council of Kings in Yoruba land”.
Noting that she was appealing with humility as a mother, she begged the aforementioned to not “avenge on any of us the misdeeds of Daddy Obasanjo”.
Part of the statements reads; “This is my own personal stand on the manner Chief Olusegun Obasanjo addressed the Kings at Iseyin at the road commissioning by Governor Makinde of Oyo State on Friday 15th September, 2023.
“As a legitimate member of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s family, l will like to state publicly worldwide and privately that the manner in which Daddy Obasanjo addressed the monarchs is not acceptable to God, to the Yoruba race and to the throne of Kingship and it must not be repeated again by any leader in Yoruba land.
“Daddy Obasanjo should not have treated the kings with open contempt and humiliation in order to correct them and revealing their secret that they bow for him privately. It is not good at all. It is too humiliating.
“Protocols could have corrected them privately and respectfully, humbly with love and friendliness.The only person that is infallible is God. God Himself is known as the King of kings and mortals too speak up to God when there is a misunderstanding of His intent.
An example was when God in annoyance wanted to destroy the Israelites in the wilderness, Moses had to speak up and beg God not to destroy them. Another example was when Cain after killing his brother Abel, God pronounced terrible judgement on Cain but Cain pleaded with God that the punishment was too much and unbearable for him, that anyone who sees him will kill him. God listened to Cain’s appeal despite his horrible act of murdering his brother… etc There are many examples in the Bible of men speaking up to God, but they spoke not in arrogance or self justification but in humility and remorse.
God Himself sent his priest to King David privately to correct him with respect on his error when he killed Bathsheba’s husband. God didn’t humiliate King David because of his error and because He is Almighty God, God still accorded respect and honour to a mortal king he created and crowned when he erred.
“Monarchy is an institution God Himself established before any political government came up to manage the affairs of men.
“I want to publicly state here that on behalf of the family, the children, the wives, the grandchildren and all members of the family of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, l am offering a big and genuine apology both spiritual and physical to all the kings of Oyo State, all the kings of Yoruba land and the entire Yoruba race both in Nigeria and Diaspora.
“Please, l beg for permanent and eternal forgiveness and pardon from all Yoruba sons and daughters worldwide, fathers and mothers, youths, teenagers and children, Christians, Muslims, traditional worshippers, all leaders in Yoruba land and the Council of Kings in Yoruba land. Please l humbly appeal with all humility don’t avenge on any of us the misdeeds of Daddy Obasanjo.
“I am a full Yoruba woman married to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for over 40 years and l have two children for him both male and female. I am a grand mother. I do not support the humiliating treatment of the kings of Oyo State by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Let history bear my record that l came out to apologize to the Oyo kings and Yoruba land on behalf of the family of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo”.