A Chieftain of the New Nigeria Peoples’ Party (NNPP), Comrade Olufemi Ajadi Oguntoyinbo, has backed former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the need for traditional rulers to respect constituted authorities in the land.
The NNPP gubernatorial candidate in Ogun State in the last general elections also appealed to the traditional rulers to restrain themselves from active and partisan politics.
He charged traditional rulers to remain opinion leaders in their various communities to continue to earn due respect.
It would be recalled that last Friday, some traditional rulers in Oyo State refused to stand up when the Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde and former President Obasanjo arrived at the venue of the commissioning of Oyo-Iseyin road leading to Chief Obasanjo allegedly lambasting them for their disrespectful attitude towards the Governor and himself.
The development has started generating reactions with some condemning former President for allegedly openly disparaging the Obas while some have diverse opinions.
Speaking on the issue in a statement on Monday, NNPP chieftain, while backing Chief Obasanjo, declared that Governors and Presidents be former or incumbent deserve respect.
He said traditional rulers should not dabble into active politics but rather continue to preside over their towns or communities while the Governors preside over states and the President over the whole country.
He said though the traditional rulers as custodians of our culture deserve respect but according to him, respect is reciprocal.
“When Governors or President visit the traditional rulers in their palaces, they usually give them respects they deserve but at the public functions where they are seated before the arrival of the Governors or President, courtesy demands that they give respect to the Governors or President”, he said.
Ajadi further noted that most traditional rulers have dabbled into politics, adding that some of them openly aligned with political parties, hence the little respects they received from political office holders.
He highlighted the role of traditional rulers as that of impartial advisors in Nigerian politics, expressing concern that their involvement in partisan politics could lead to their humiliation by political figures.
“Traditional rulers especially the Obas in Yoruba land, would stop being humiliated by any political office holders be it Governors or the President when they stop being partisan.
“Our Kings are expected to be fathers for all politicians through giving of advice and guidance on how to achieve good governance but not being partisan.
“However, what is playing out is that most of them are politically aligned and with their involvement in politics, it would be difficult for them to receive their deserved respect”, Ajadi stated.