There seem to be divided views among some Yorubas over the action of the national leader of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who was pictured sitting while greeting the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) during the coronation ceremony of Oba Oniru at the Iru Palace, Victoria Island, on Sunday, 6 September 2020.
However, it was gathered that the Ooni came in and was walking to his seat when he stopped to greet Tinubu who was sitting on the same table with Oniru of Iru-land, Oba Abdul-Wasiu Omogbolahan Lawal (Abisogun II) Some of the Yorubas on Twitter who kicked against the action of Tinubu say they expected him to have stood up if he could not prostrate as it is of the Yoruba tradition for greeting kings, men prostrate; while the women kneel down and he is addressed as ‘Kabiyesi’ While some have argued that it doesn’t mean anything to sit and greet the Ooni, others have disagreed saying that it is a tradition and respect that must be accorded to the paramount ruler of Ife. Below are some of the reactions gathered on Twitter by Vanguard Yinka Odumakin wrote on Twitter “We are still Yoruba people. With due respect to our royal fathers, we should not say because we are in a modern age, we should not give the proper respect that we give to our oba. “You saw the time former President Obasanjo prostrated before the Ooni. “So, it is still our culture and we must sustain our culture and give the respect that is due to our monarchs.” Femi Fani-Kayode also wrote “That the Asiwaju refused to stand up to greet the Ooni of Ife speaks volumes. “This was not only deeply insulting to every Ife and indeed son and daughter of Odua but it is also a crying shame. Would a northern political leader refuse to stand up for his traditional ruler?”
Another Twitter user, @AdeAdejumo3 wrote “In my opinion, Ooni didn’t attend the event as a king but as an investor from Ife, hence the insult from the Land Owner. Ilubinrin Estate n Eko Atlantic is in the dangling fruits for Ooni. Why did a whole Oonirisa attend Oniru’s coronation?” Ayobami Ayobami @dondekojo “The Ooni walked to Tinubu to greet him, abeg. It’s a non-issue. Tinubu is bigger than the Ooni. You people should rest, next time Ooni should prostrate to Asiwaju.”
@OluwafemiMaduka “In Yoruba culture, the Ooni is not a king per se, the Ooni is considered a deity! He is the spiritual leader of all Yoruba people the world over a king or an ordinary man. Tinubu‘s action was not only impolitic, but it is also sacrilegious; a desecration! I hope he makes atonement.”
@Akorede04 “Ooni is the first traditional ruler in Yoruba land. Tinubu refusing to stand up to greet Ooni is a total disrespect to the whole of Yoruba land. Even high-rank Kings stand to greet Ooni.”
@WalkerSavvy8 “Tinubu couldn’t prostrate for the Ooni of Ife. Haha. Watch how Africans have destroyed our sacred traditional value because of Politics and Power.”
@FalolaHammedOp1 “Obasanjo can decide to prostrate to Ooni but we should ask ourselves, his Obasanjo a Jagaban? Obviously no. Tinubu is older than ooni in age and Yoruba culture too recognized position of age in tradition. Besides Obasanjo only choose which monarch to respect based on relationship”