Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday charged traditional rulers in Yoruba land to work towards promoting mutual respect rather than engaging in unnecessary royal rivalry.
The former president gave the charge while speaking during when the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, paid him a courtesy visit at his Hilltop mansion in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Obasanjo, who condemned the royal supremacy battle often witnessed among the Yoruba traditional rulers, also charged that monarchs in the Yoruba land ought to jealously guard the honour accorded their offices rather than glorifying the “I-am-greater-than-you-in- throne” syndrome among some royal fathers, which, he said, had been responsible for the setback of the race over the years.
He, however, tasked Yoruba royal fathers to always prioritise good governance and welfare of their subjects rather than the engaging in unnecessary rivalry among themselves.
“I think that what is more important is to give good governance to the citizens and also have mutual respect for ourselves. When I was President and even now, I usually accord respect to all Presidents, particularly to the ones with small populations.
“I do this because I realised that no matter how densely- populated a country might be, it has the same one-vote at the United Nations just as a country with smaller population.
“For instance, Nigeria with a population of about 180 million has the same one-vote with a country such as Sao Tome with a population of 150, 000”.
Commenting on the choice and final enthronement of Oba Adetunji as the next Olubadan, the former president commended the Oyo State governor, Hon. Abiola Ajimobi, for “taking the right step”.
The elder stateman, who noted that it was God that enthrones and crowns a monarch, also tasked Oba Adetunji to continually ask God for wisdom to govern the people, stressing that the people of Ibadan, like the Egba people of Ogun State, were not easy to lead.
He, however, urged the monarch to be trustworthy and always dispense justice without favouritism.
“Though it is all mankind that are difficult to govern, but I also know from experience that the peoples of Egba and Ibadan particularly, are not easy to govern. I pray that God who puts you there will help you to succeed.
“What is most important to any leader, be it traditional, political, educational or religious is for him to be trustworthy. Nobody is perfect, but once you are queried over some issues and you are able to defend yourself well, you can then leave the rest to God.
Oba Adetunji commended Obasanjo for his role in his emergence as the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland.
The monarch, who arrived Obasanjo’s Abeokuta residence in company of his two wives: Olori Kudirat Adetunji and Rasidat Adetunji, an Ibadan High Chief, Otun Balogun of Ibadan land, Ola Ifa, as well as Mogaji Adebisi Shitu, among others, explained that he was in Abeokuta to felicitate with the former president whom he said had been so nice to every members of his family, even before becoming the new Olubadan.
The monarch, however, called for unity among all the Yoruba royal fathers, which he said remained the only panacea for moving the race forward politically and economically.