The Coronet Yoruba Youth Leaders; an umbrella body for ‘Yoruba Traditional Youth Leaders Chiefs’ has called on Yoruba traditional rulers to stay away from partisan politics and any other act that can relegate the institution of Obaship.
The group equally enjoined the traditional rulers to shun religious bigotry, because they are fathers to all, irrespective of religion affiliation.
The Youth Leader General of the group, Chief Jimoh Olawale Taofeek, gave the admonition, while reacting to the former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s command to some traditional rulers in Oyo State last week.
Chief Jimoh said, “traditional rulers should command the desired respect known for their positions by staying away from partisan politics and religious bigotry, among other things that can relegate the institution.
Chief Jimoh noted “that the Obas, who are the custodian of our culture and tradition can be maturely corrected without humiliation in order not to relegate our heritage.
While lamenting the way and manner the tradition leaders had been turned to mere ceremonial leaders, Chief Jimoh blamed the colonialists, whom he said put an end to the roles of traditional rulers at the Berlin conference of 1884/1885, when the African continent was partitioned amongst the then colonial powers of Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Belgium.
He added that “there was no constitutional role given to traditional rulers in Nigeria Constitution since 1979”.
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“What our people failed to understand is that the British destroyed our traditional institution, but returned to their country to re-organize, defend and promote their own royal institution.
Chief Jimoh also noted that the position of Obaship is a lifetime, compared to political office that is for a while.
He therefore called for the constitutional amendment that will create a Ministry for the traditional institution to make traditional rulers another independent arms of government, give them roles to play in nation building and as well make them members of Federal and States Executive Councils, stressing that this will enable them to be part of policy-making process from inception to implementation towards development of the society as the body that is closer to the community.
Chief Jimoh commended the Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, for according due respect and honour to traditional rulers in the State, positing that the governor’s attitude to the traditional rulers really showed that he is a true prince, who has utmost respect for the traditional institution of the Obas.
He called on other political office holders to emulate Abiodun’s humility and simplicity, stressing that the governor has always been lenient to some Obas by overlooking certain breaches of protocols, despite his position as the supreme leader in the state.
“He remains resolute, humble and maintain such maximum respect for the norms, custom and value that established the Obaship institution, regardless of his high esteemed position as the governor