‘The publisher of Sahara Reporters online daily outlet, Mr Omoyele Sowore, was purportedly disfavored and tear gassed at the royal residence of the Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwusi, after supposedly declining to prostrate to the ruler.’ *Culled From Opera News*
Due to my easily irritated nature and, of course my love for getting things done in a jiffy, I have always hated the symbolism and unnecessary ceremonies involved in meeting a dignitary, and this is probably the reason I declined visiting the Baale of Ilasa during ‘The Cultural Day Event’ in my secondary school. But this does not mean that ceremonious positions such as the Emirs, Ezes, and Obas should not be accorded the respect they deserve. Should I ever meet a Monarch, be rest assured that I would pay obeisance because our culture dictates so.
There are many things we need to change about our various cultures in Nigeria, but the respect we accord to our traditional rulers is obviously not one of these things. These traditional institutions are among the few links we have to our heritage, and ancestry in a world quickly evolving by globalisation.
The Queen of England wields little political power when compared to the Prime Minister, but this does not give any individual the impetus to disregard her, and that is why the cliché ‘The Queen Can Do No Wrong’ continues to be popular in this twenty first century.
If our colonial masters can respect their traditional institutions and authorities despite their technological advancements and superior standard of living, I see no reason why we should not follow suit.
I am an ardent supporter of Omoyele Sowore, and in fact, I think his campaign slogan ‘Take It Back’ is the best I have seen in a while. But in this case, all I can say to him are the popular words Nigerians use to express disappointment ‘O boy, you fuck up’.
I blame Sowore for the fracas that ensued when he refused to accord the Ooni of Ife his due respects because as a fellow Yoruba man, he is familiar with the dictates of the Yoruba culture and its intricacies.
It is unwise for one to argue with a king, most especially in his own palace. No matter one’s grievances, a monarch should always be respected.
We learn everyday, and I sincerely hope Sowore, and other Nigerians have learnt a good lesson from this.