The Elerinmo of Erinmo Kingdom in Oriade Local Government Area of Osun State, Oba Michael Odunayo Ajayi, has urged Nigerians and the traditional institutions to invest more resources in saving and celebrating the living instead of the current trend of celebrating the dead.

The monarch, who gave the advice last Thursday (July 6, 2017) while delivering a lecture, entitled “The Role of the Traditional Institution in Tackling the Failing Moral Standard in the Nigerian Society” at the Unilorin Multi-purpose Hall, said this could be done by visiting and caring for their friends and relatives on their sick beds, rather than waiting for them to die before we start to pay respect to caskets.

Oba Ajayi, who was the Guest Speaker at the lecture organised by the Department of Sociology, University of Ilorin, described the traditional institution as a mechanism of social order created to govern the behaviour of a people in a given community. He noted that the nature and role of traditional rulers have changed over the years from that of priest kings, who were the eyes of the gods to the present status of community leaders.

The traditional ruler, who is an alumnus of the University of Ilorin and author of many books, noted that it is important for the traditional institution to show interest in the welfare of the people by pressurising politicians to deliver the promises they made before getting elected. He also stressed the need to strengthen the power and authority of traditional rulers, which, he said, have been seriously eroded in recent times despite the proximity of traditional rulers to the grassroots.

The monarch also insisted that a nation with strong moral values is in a better position to harness the energies of the citizenry as a foundation for a strong economy unlike a morally bankrupt society usually founded on wrong knowledge and values, which are imported through satellite broadcasts and internet connections that influence youths negatively.

Going down memory lane, Oba Ajayi recalled that following the disengagement of Britain from Nigeria,“so strong was the traditional institution that Ooni Adesoji Aderemi became the Governor General of the old Western Region and till date Yoruba translation of government is “Ijo Oba” or “Ijoba”, which in English translates to the congregation of Obas or government by the Obas.”

Earlier in his address, the Dean of the Faculty of Social-Sciences, Prof. B. Salau, described the lecture as one which concerns virtually every human because of its topical nature, noting that he is lucky to witness an alumnus of the Department, who is highly educated and widely travelled, deliver the important lecture.

In his own address, the Head of the Department of Sociology, Prof. Noah Yusuf, lamented the prevailing crisis of immorality in the country, saying, “In all spheres of private and public lives, the story is the same-immorality”.

The event, which featured presentation of awards to eminent personalities, was attended by the Elerin of Erin-Ile, Oba Abdulganiu Olusookun; the Oba of Agbeku, Mallam AbdulAziz Agboola; the Ag. Director of the University Ilorin Advancement Centre, Dr. Jeleel Ojuade; and Dr. (Mrs.) D. S. Adekeye of the Department of Sociology among other eminent scholars and traditional leaders.