Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has reiterated his stance regarding the Oyo State traditional rulers, whom he accused of disrespecting Governor Seyi Makinde.
Okay.ng had reported that the controversy emerged last Friday during the opening of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology College of Agriculture and Renewable Natural Resources in Iseyin, Oyo State, where Obasanjo publicly admonished the monarchs in attendance.
Expressing his displeasure, Obasanjo pointed out that the monarchs failed to show due respect when Governor Makinde addressed the gathering. He called on all traditional rulers to stand, a gesture that has sparked nationwide outrage, particularly within Yorubaland.
In response to Obasanjo’s comments, the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, criticized the former President, condemning his actions as inappropriate and disrespectful toward the esteemed Yoruba traditional institutions. Oba Akanbi emphasized the unity of Yoruba traditional rulers and held those who complied with Obasanjo’s directive accountable.
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On Sunday, a statement attributed to Mrs. Taiwo Obasanjo, reportedly the former President’s wife, circulated widely, in which she allegedly sought forgiveness on Obasanjo’s behalf. The statement, titled “OBJ Vs. Oyo Kings: A plea for forgiveness,” suggested that Obasanjo’s intention was to correct the monarchs and reveal their private reverence for him.
However, Obasanjo’s official response, issued on Monday through his Media Aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, disassociated him from Mrs. Taiwo Martins, acknowledging that she had two children with him but clarifying that she is not his wife or a member of the Obasanjo family.
The former President maintained his position, emphasizing that “he stands firmly, unapologetically, and uncompromisingly on the belief that the Governor of a State holds the highest office in the State.”
The statement reads:
“The attention of former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has been drawn to a statement purported to be issued by a wife of the President with the photograph of one Ms. Taiwo Martins as the author of the statement.
“For the records, Ms. Martins has two children, Jonwo and Bunmi, for Chief Obasanjo but to say emphatically that she is not his wife nor a member of the Obasanjo family.
“Her posturing as Chief Obasanjo’s wife is false and that of an impostor. Nobody makes statement on behalf of the Obasanjo family except Chief Obasanjo or people delegated by him to do so.
“It must be noted that the state of health of Ms. Martins is known to all and sundry and whatever she says or does has nothing to do with Chief Obasanjo as an individual or the Obasanjo family as a whole.
“However, the former President has affirmed that he stood firmly, unapologetically and uncompromisingly on the position that the Governor of a State holds the highest office in the State.
“By that position, the respect, protocol and dignity that must be given to the office by virtue of the Constitution must not be denied. To do otherwise is to deride the office and the Constitution.”