The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams has appealed to governors in the South West of the country and all monarchs in the region to urgently intervene and halt an attempt to desecrate their customs and tradition by some Yoruba who he referred to as people of ‘shady characters’, living outside the shores of this land.
Adams who called for the intervention of the governors and the monarchs in an open letter to them, noted that he was calling on them because they are the number one citizen of the state, and ‘protector of our traditional institution’, and that “any immediate or remote threat to our age-long monarchical system must be nipped in the bud through all legal means.”
He added that, “Through this letter, I am also bringing to your notice the activities of an illegal group known as ‘Council of Yoruba Obas in the Diaspora’.
“This group is not known to our law, the modus operandi is alien to our customs and tradition and if nothing is done urgently to caution and sanction its promoters, our highly-revered traditional institution may, God forbid, becomes extinct soon.
“In truth, our traditional institutions derive legitimacy and authority from traditions of a particular village, town or city.
“As the governor, it is your duty to protect traditional institutions in your state, and other relevant authorities take instructions from you.
“For instance, the hierarchical order has been with us for centuries. In other words, it is a taboo to replicate the role of an Oba or question his authority. That is why he is referred to as ka-bi-o-osi (Kabiyesi).
“In Yoruba land, an Oba is not only a king, but a sacred king. As the custodian of history and culture, words of an Oba remain sacred and any attempt to desecrate age-long customs of the people must be crushed without any delay.
“Being one of the sons of the progenitor of the Yoruba, Oduduwa, the popular belief is that without the Oba (who is the spiritual head of a domain), there is no village, town or city.
“Also, I need not emphasise the fact that royal families and government play an important role in who becomes an Oba anywhere in Yorubaland.
“For anybody to become an Oba, he must be a son of a king or of the same blood line as chosen (royal) families from which a king might emerge.
“This customs associated with royal families date back to centuries, but the activities of ‘Council of Yoruba Obas in the Diaspora’, if not checked immediately, threaten this age-long tradition.
“To summarise, members of this group, who reside mostly in Europe, North and South America, are standing logic on the head due to their inordinate ambition.
“In some countries in these continents, these characters now install themselves as Obas. They wear crowns similar to what our royal fathers wear in Yorubaland and parade themselves as Obas, with complete paraphernalia of office. They also come to Yorubaland and parade themselves as such.
“These are characters who have no royal blood flowing in their veins, no affinity with any traditional institution in Yorubaland and no government recognition.
“The questions to ask are: When they leave the stage, who will be their successors? Where are the kingmakers who recommended them for the position? Which government recognises and coronates them? Where are their palaces? Who are their subjects?
“If we keep quiet now, are we not allowing these characters to desecrate Yoruba traditional institutions?
“Some of these characters engage in some shady deals, every now and then.
“If tomorrow, one of them, with his paraphernalia, is arrested at any airport abroad, will the headline of newspapers’ publications not read: “Yoruba Oba arrested at Heathrow Airport in possession of…”
Adams said he is worried because “The way some of these characters are going, in a few decades, only God knows what will happen to our traditional institution in Yorubaland.
“Before an Oba is installed, certain necessary traditional rites must be done.
“If I may ask again: Under whose constitutional authority are these so-called Obas appointed and coronated? Who gave the approval? Presidents of those countries?” He asked.