They are therefore second to none. We accord them due respect in our society and only a bastard can refer to them as mere leaders because according to our tradition, they are next to our gods i.e. alase ekeji orisa.
Today, in Osun State, our traditional rulers have become members of one political party or the other to the extent that many of them have become campaign managers to many of these politicians. Therefore, they have put themselves under the feet of political office holders by involving themselves in party politics all because of pecuniary gains.
Our traditional rulers who are supposed to give royal advice to politicians and political office holders have turned themselves to errand boys in their hands. What a shameful act? Many of them are now hosting party meetings inside the palace in which they have been ridiculed as a result of misunderstanding that do occur during such a meetings and many a times, they have been molested by thugs and touts of politicians.
It was recently, we witnessed how a palace was razed by political thugs and touts because of political reason in one of the towns in this state. The Oba in question was sent packing for several weeks to another town and it was recently he returned to his base after the intervention of the good and peace-loving people of the town. Otherwise, he would have gone forever without returning to the palace all in the name of politics.
I give kudos to some traditional rulers in the state who steer clear from party politics and my prayer to them is that God will strengthen them and they will live long to teach others the role expected of a traditional ruler in the society.
Our Obas, who are custodians of our customs and tradition have sold their traditional heritage because of pots of porridge which they have eaten in a hurry for that they have lost their glory and honour.
May I urge our royal fathers to borrow a leaf from the new Olubadan of Ibadan who refused to be rubbished by shameless political looters disguising as leaders.
Let our royal fathers in Osun State be told that they should recognize all as their subjects and they treat everybody equally, irrespective of the party or financial position of such citizens. They should know that money is not everything and their integrity should be preserved at all times. Nobody will deliberately insult our royal fathers but it is better to jealously uphold the sanctity of our tradition and cultural heritage than to condone and pamper selfish individuals who are bent to rubbish the much cherished values.
We recognize ourselves as their sons and daughters. Therefore, anything that happens to them whether good or bad will definitely have effect on us hence the need for this letter.
•YOOLE ODUNJO, Osogbo.