… Says It Diminishes Their stools, Urges Urgent Intervention
The Ancient Religion Societies of African Descendants International Council (ARSADIC), has decried the spate and recent incessant killing of traditional rulers in Yorubaland, saying it diminishes their stools.
ARSADIC, an umbrella body of every indigenous African spirituality, which has been in existence since 1795, said it was worrisome and embarrassing to receive sad news oftentimes about how royal fathers are being kidnapped and murdered like fowls in the Southwest geo-political zone.
The group said there should be urgent and genuine interventions to redeem the authority and honour of the traditional institution.
In a statement by its President, Aare (Dr.) Ifagbenusola Atanda, the ARSADIC reacted to recent violent attacks that led to the tragic deaths of some monarchs in Ekiti and Kwara States.
Three traditional rulers in Ikole Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti State, the Elesun of Esun-Ekiti, Oba David Babatunde Ogunsakin and the Olumojo of Imojo-Ekiti, Oba Samuel Olusola, and the Alara of Ara-Ekiti, Oba Sunday Fatoba, last week were attacked by gunmen on Oke Ako-Irele Road.
While the Elesun of Esun-Ekiti and the Olumojo of Imojo-Ekiti, were gruesomely murdered by their assailants, the Alara of Ara-Ekiti, narrowly escaped.
Another monarch, Olukoro of Koro in Ekiti Local Government Area of Kwara State, Oba Olusegun Aremu-Cole, a retired senior military officer, was shot dead inside his palace last week.
Commiserating with the families, towns, and states of the victims, the traditional group said the killings called for a sober reflection among the Orisa adherents, “more so that the development has continued unabated.”
The statement reads: “The prevalence of the killing of our traditional rulers lately is worrisome and embarrassing. And as Olorisa and Isese adherents, we are bothered, more so that the development has continued unchallenged. It makes us sad and the situation should call for sober reflection for everyone, to ponder over where we have got it wrong as a people.
“Any monarch properly installed in accordance with Yoruba tradition has become Orisa and Olorisa. The process of becoming a king in Yorubaland is embedded in Isese, it is different from being an Imam or a pastor.”
The group, which described the monarchs’ death as tragic and devastating, said the incident was dreadful, therefore, praying to God, the Almighty, to grant the departed traditional rulers eternal rest and peace.
Also lamenting that the attacks are too common and many, the traditionalists said: “It is difficult for us as Isese adherents to speak up and at the same time to keep mum on this matter.
“As Olorisa or Onisese, we are major participants in the process of producing traditional rulers. And we have a tradition that dates back to the times of our forefathers and how a monarch can emerge.
“In those days, an Oba was groomed to become Oosa and to be prepared and positioned for his special tasks. But today, grooming of our Obas is different. Obaship today has been bastardized, everything is about money. The royal fathers are seen as government Obas. Many ascend the throne for prestige and they are supported because they have money.
“But what do we do if the government is comfortable with that? And how do we check excesses associated with the process when we are not allowed to play our traditional roles?
“What makes our intervention a little difficult is that we must all come to the reality that Obaship belongs to Isese and all rites associated with grooming and strengthening our Obas must be carried out. This gives them the deserved authority, fear, the honour, and respect bestowed by Eledumare to their stools.
“We can never and will never be happy seeing our royal fathers being hacked to death in a gruesome and most barbaric manner. They are being messed up and humiliated and this by extension denigrates our real-valued culture and traditions.
“We hope we will all wake up early enough to redirect the drift, which is bringing us disgrace and disrespect. Each time an incident like this happens, the first question is where lies our power, where lies our dignity as a people with great historical exploits. And as traditionalists, we take the blame and responsibility for the insults.
“We firmly believe and know that if our Obas are rooted in Isese, the Orisa will never abandon them to shame. Ifa can never stand afar and watch them being disgraced. So, everyone, the people and the government must reflect on this ugly trend. We must begin to scrutinize those becoming Obas. We must seriously think over what brought us to this despicable end. We must also examine what gave the Obas the authority and respect in the past so that we can go back to re-establish it.
“We must also not forget to think critically of this shameful development to examine if this is not a curse on us by our ancestors. Obas are the heads, the symbols of authority in their various domains and if they are not respected anymore have we not lost our glory as a people?
“So, this season calls for a sober reflection, the government must ensure things are done right. We, the Olorisa are not happy that the Obas are being hacked to death but let’s begin to think where we have gone wrong and make necessary amends.
“We are gradually getting to a stage when we will all have no option but to do things the right way to get the right results. When that time eventually comes, as they say, ‘necessity is their mother of inventions,’ then we will sit at a round table conference to deliberate who is qualified, what makes a candidate qualified for a royal stool, and who can be presented by the royal families, the kingmakers and the town to the government for a revered Obaship position.”
Sodiq Yusuf is a trained media practitioner and journalist with considerable years of experience in print, broadcast, and digital journalism. His interests cover a wide range of causes in politics, governance, sports, community development, and good governance.