Oba Francis Olushola Alao, known as the Olugbon of Orile Igbon, has broken his silence regarding the recent incident involving former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s outburst. Oba Alao emphasized that his silence and that of his fellow traditional rulers should not be misinterpreted as an act of cowardice.
The incident in question occurred during the inauguration of the Iseyin Campus of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), where Obasanjo publicly criticized the obas from the Oke-Ogun region of Oyo State. He accused them of disrespecting Governor ‘Seyi Makinde by not adhering to protocol and not standing up for him at the event. Obasanjo went further to humiliate the obas by instructing them to stand up and sit down, similar to a primary school scenario.
In a press statement dated September 18, 2023, Oba Alao, who also serves as the deputy chairman of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs, acknowledged that Obasanjo’s outburst had sparked anger and various responses from individuals across the Yoruba community.
However, Oba Alao clarified that the obas’ silence since the incident was not an act of cowardice but a strategic choice aimed at preserving unity and peace in Yorubaland.
He assured the public that the incident would be discussed, reviewed, and responded to appropriately during the next meeting of the traditional rulers with Governor Makinde.
Oba Alao expressed appreciation for the reactions from those who were concerned about the incident, emphasizing that it was an internal matter to be addressed within the traditional council.
He also affirmed the mutual respect between the traditional rulers in the state and Governor Makinde. Oba Alao urged everyone to maintain decorum and uphold the Omoluwabi ethos for which the Yoruba people are known.
Furthermore, Oba Alao clarified that traditional rulers in Oyo State had no regrets about supporting President Bola Tinubu and Governor Makinde in the previous presidential and governorship elections. He stated that they would be willing to support both leaders in future elections, emphasizing the unanimous stance of the monarchs in Oyo State.
The Olugbon’s statement aims to address the concerns and reactions following the incident, emphasizing unity, respect, and a commitment to peaceful coexistence in Yorubaland.