Tinubu’s Serial & Famed Disrespect To Yoruba Chequered Traditional Institution


By David Adenekan

Ooni of Ife

It is pertinent to give an unbiased analytical historical perspective to the issue that is currently trending in the news and social media, in order to restore sanity into our traditional institutions and reaffirm the spiritual supremacy of Obas in Yoruba land.

We must establish that traditionally and culturally, no one is greater than the king in Yoruba land, he owns everything within his Kingdom. He’s the first among equals ( “Oba ni o ba ni ori owun gbogbo”).

At the installation of Oba Enitan Babatunde Adeyeye Ogunwusi as the 51st imperial majesty of the cradle of Yoruba race in Ile Ife, he promised to foster unity among the Yoruba nation and broker a truce to all the conflicts that may be undermining the unity of Yoruba nation. He humbly declared a dawn of a new era. In order to put actions to his words, he immediately paid an unprecedented visit to Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi in his palace. His visit ushered in a dawn of a new era taken into consideration the pre-existing cold war between Alaafin of Oyo (Oba Lamidi Adeyemi) and his predecessor (Oba Okunade Sijuade, Onibuse 2). It was a welcome development, applauded by all sons and daughters of Ile Oodua.

Furthermore, he went further to break all protocols and displayed rare humility to pay Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu a courtesy visit at his bourdillion home to appreciate him for his support, kind gesture and contribution to the emancipation of Yoruba’s interests. The royal and colorful visit made major headline news in Nigeria. Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu has not shown reciprocity of visiting Ooni Orisa in his palace

I believe respect is reciprocal

Moreover, is Tinubu higher or greater than former President Olusegun Mathew Okanlawon Obasanjo (OBJ) in status? It is important to note that OBJ remains the longest serving Head of Government in Nigeria today (both military and civilian). He’s an international figure and an elder statesman that is respected all over the world. Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu has however, not achieved the feat of OBJ at the world stage but it is on record that OBJ paid obeisance to Ooni when he was installed to the throne. Yes, “Baba Obasanjo dobale fun ori Ade gbalaja ni” (He prostrated flat on the ground for the king).

The recent event at the ceremony to mark the installation of Oba Oniru of Iru land was another unruly behavior of Tinubu perpetrated against the cultural norm to the throne of the cradle of Yoruba race. This cannot be interpreted as a mistake or unintentional as shown in the video clip that went viral. It was crystal clear that Tinubu deliberately desecrated “Ori Ade” again by not respecting the crown, he was shown seated and shaking hands with Oonirisa.

Let us assume theoretically that Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu facilitated the ascension of Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi to his ancestor’s throne, but his support does not give him the impetus to desecrate the throne. The totality of Tinubu’s disrespect was not towards Ooni as a person but an affront to the representative of the cradle of Yoruba race.

Tinubu’s famed disrespect to the traditional institutions dates back to the last gubernatorial election in Osun State, where he publicly boasted at Ataoja of Osogbo’s palace that he is richer than the king and his kingdom. I must conclude that Tinubu’s serial and persistent disrespect to the traditional, is a deviant behavior to our custom and tradition

“Ti ilu ba ti dun ni adun ju, yi ya ni o ya”. This is interpreted as “an excessive use of force to beat a drum will burst the drum into pieces”.

Yes, pride comes before the fall

Only time will tell.

David Adenekan writes from Chicago, Illinois.

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