Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Friday, reaffirmed the constitutional superiority of elected officials when he commanded some traditional rulers to stand up and greet him.
Obasanjo gave this order at the commissioning of a 34.85 km Oyo-Iseyin Road and the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Iseyin Campus, which houses the College of Agricultural Sciences and Renewable Natural Resources.
He said, as much as there is utmost respect for the traditional institution, a sitting Governor or President is superior to the traditional rulers and respect must be given.
The former president further described democracy built on unemployment as a failure.
He urged leaders to embrace a form of democracy that promotes prosperity rather than one that inflicts suffering on the people.
He said in Yoruba: “I greet the kings and chiefs here sitting; I am grateful that you are here. Let me say this: wherever the president or governor is, the kings present must stand up to honour him.
“In Yoruba land, there are two things that are most respected among others: age and position. When a governor is still in power, he’s more powerful than any king.
“Even when I was president, I prostrated for kings outside, and when we went inside, the kings would prostrate for me. So, let’s always celebrate our culture.”
Watch moment Obasanjo commands Oyo monarchs to stand up and greet
Credit: TVC pic.twitter.com/RPUin0yJfM
— Vanguard Newspapers (@vanguardngrnews) September 15, 2023
Obasanjo said: “We must discard a form of democracy that perpetuates poverty, insecurity, and unemployment, and instead prioritize the people’s enjoyment of the dividends of democracy.”
According to the ex-president, democracy is nothing without work.
“Democracy that nurtures poverty is abortion. Democracy that nurtures unemployment is a failure,” he added.
“That’s when democracy would continue to survive and people will feel that yes, democracy is a worthwhile system of government that must be embraced.”
The retired military officer served as Nigeria’s head of state from 1976 to 1979 and later as its president from 1999 to 2007.