Research Article
Toxic Yoruba Traditions, Vile Patriarchal Practices Against Women, And the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in Southwest Nigeria
Adebayo Abidemi Olufemi*
Corresponding Author: Adebayo Abidemi Olufemi, Redeemer’s University, Nigeria.
Received: March 13, 2022; Revised: April 09, 2022; Accepted: April 12, 2022 Available Online: May 14, 2022
Citation: Olufemi AA. (2022) Toxic Yoruba Traditions, Vile Patriarchal Practices Against Women, And the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in Southwest Nigeria. J Womens Health Safety Res, 6(1): 286-293.
Copyrights: ©2022 Olufemi AA. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Share :
  • 48

    Views & Citations
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), was a United Nations’ global development initiative ratified in 2015 which called the global community to decisive actions towards attaining, prosperity, peace and justice, and the protection of the planet by 2030. However, these laudable objectives tend to be unachievable in Southwest Nigeria as a result of the SDG’s contravention of the traditional beliefs and the practices, especially as this concern the rights and conditions of women in this region of the world. In arriving at this conclusion in the paper, John Rawls’ Theory of Justice which advances inclusivity and the utmost good for the masses was adopted. Also, the ideals of the SDG were highlighted in reconciliation with the cultural philosophies and practices of the Yoruba people of the Southwest Nigeria. This was to situate the areas of contravention and conflict. The transiency of the female regency and the condition that the female regent must wear men attires for legitimacy of their stay on the throne is not consistent with global gender best practices and is in conflict with SDG Goal 5 - Gender Equality. In the same vein, Yoruba men’s killing of their lovers for money rituals jeopardizes the safety of the women. Yet the Oba Gbese le e (the King has commandeered the beautiful woman) philosophy in the age of global civilization is a brazen objectification of women. The economic disempowerment of widows in levirate marriages is inimical to SDG Goal 8 on economic growth. Since culture has tendencies of indelibility, there is need for an extension of the 2030 deadline. This will avert a situation where the SDG initiative specifically on women will fail in a region of the population size of the populations of Greece, Portugal, Denmark, and Finland combined.

Keywords: Modernity, Yoruba women, The SDG, Regency, Patriarchy, Southwest Nigeria
The Yoruba culture could be described as the fertile ground for the blossoming of inimical patriarchal practices, and this is a situation that hurts the wellbeing of women in the same society. The patriarchal practices described as inimical, among many others, include ephemeral female regency, incestuous defiling of the female minor, herdsmen rape, killing of female lover for money rituals, obeisance of widowhood rites, as well as infibulations. These iniquities are considered inimical and consequently wound the identities of Yoruba women based on the fact that they are considered within certain ideological frameworks which are the influence of globalization in the modern time and the core essence of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Globalization and SDG are critical in the sense that globalization gives every society to reach the rest of the world with its own cultural heritage and products. To achieve this laudable goal, SDG is efficient in the attainment of the regularization of cultural and social behavioral pattern and attitude with a view to achieving an equitable society for all. This is in spite of the position that there is a possible inconsistency in the SDG’s principles, especially between the social and economic development outputs as well as the environmental goals with emphasis on sustainability [1]. The appropriateness and efficiency of the SDG to achieve an equitable global society reflects in the UNDP’s conception of it as a framework and initiative intended to ensure that societies move away from the dominance of prosperity model in the form of pure economic trajectory. It adopted a more holistic prosperity with sustainability being at the center stage as a main concern [2]. The deployment of these variables is as instruments of contextualization of the central subject-matter of the paper, which is the evaluation of patriarchal gender violation against women in Southwest Nigeria and how this affects the implementation of the SDG in this region of the world. This is for the convenience of the paper and the paper’s concern. Gender relations between men and women in Africa have been frosty for a while as women have alleged that African men have infringed on their social rights with impunity for a long while [3]. However, as highlighted above, in the contemporary times, African men’s violations of the rights of women has taken a dangerous even fatal dimension. This, in specific terms, could be seen in incestuous defiling of female minors and outright killing of women both for money-making rituals. These circumstances as perpetrated by Yoruba men in Southwest Nigeria have far-reaching consequences in local community where this is a cultural practice as well as the global society. This is especially as the patriarchal violation of the right of women hinders a successful implementation of the SDG in Southwest Nigeria. These observations are evaluated in further details in the latter part of the paper.

For the purpose of this paper, modernity shall be conceived as the new way of thinking. That is modernity is the unlearning of the old orientation and attitude and the embrace of a progressive mindset within the ideals of Western civilization. Old orientation or attitude has taken as the African traditional conceptions as they relate to cultural practices. The progressive mindset is seen as the Western civilization. A number of factors have been responsible for these contextual conceptions of these operational terms. First of all, Western orientations or civilization has changed the ways things used to be done in Africa. This affirms the assertion that the interaction of the West with Africa has brought about cultural interfusion and is direction the course of development and social life in modern Africa [4]. In addition to this, it is Westernization that has dictated the course of globalization which is capable of bringing profitable growth to societies, [5]. Globalization, itself, has spread Western civilization to the rest of the world especially to Africa. To this end, Westernization and globalization has brought new ways of doing things to Africa. Traditional ways of doing things or thinking becomes old. Such a conceptualization is to the effect of asserting that the Yoruba cultural view and treatment of women as objects or tools of accomplishing patriarchal aggrandizement when such is placed in the civilized context is an old gender attitude.

In order to achieve the crux of this paper, efficiently, a number of strategies and approaches have been employed. These include the John Rawls’ Theory of Justice whose core tenet is to the effect that society needs to advance the utmost good for the greatest number of people, and this is an argument which is line with the notion of the rule of tyranny of majorities of the populace over minority of the citizens.  Another strategy which the author has also employed is the definition and explanation of the ideals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). This is complemented with the evaluative identification of a good number of the relevant Yoruba customary proverbs and social practices. These are consequently reconciled with the ideals and cardinal goals of the SDG of the United Nations. This undertaking is carried out with a necessary analytical contemporary global rational system. The connections of SDG ideals and the Yoruba customary sayings and patriarchal social practices are aimed at establishing the feasibility of the SDG goals in the context of African customary belief system with the Yoruba culture in particular emphasis. As a follow-up to this, an interpretative engagement is undertaken with a view to pointing out the steps to take on how to redefine the Yoruba cultural situation in view of the need to achieve the SDG agenda among the Yoruba people of the Southwest Nigeria, taken as a metaphor for the African continent. Additionally, the qualitative research method is employed in writing the paper as opposed to the use of notations, figure, and data analysis. This has been informed by the rational nature of the argument which the paper advances.

Female regency monarchical system is still being practiced in Southwest Nigeria in the contemporary time. Quite a number of regents are on the thrones across towns and cities in Southwest, Nigeria. As at 2021, regents on the thrones in Yoruba region of Nigeria include Regent Ambassador Adekemi Omorinbola of Oka Akoko, Regent Ayooye Oyinlola of Ikere Ekiti[1], Regent Jolaade Onipede of Ilasa Ekiti. Regent Mojisola Omisore the Oisa Amulodu of Ado Ekiti, Regent Taiwo Oyebola Agbona of Aaye Oba Kingdom, Regent Adegoro Adesewa Omotolani of Lisa Kingdom, Regent Ojo Funmilayo of Elemo Kingdom, Regent Falomo Moyinoluwa of Ibulesoro Kingdom, Regent Tinuade Ayomikun Babalola of Iborapa Akoko, and to mention a few, Regent Adbusola Abisoye Oluwatuyi of Isolo, Akure [6]. However, the installations of these female regents portray tremendous patriarchal ill intentions and gender abuse, and thus, hurt SDG Goal 5- Gender Equality. Such tends to impair the implementation of the Goal among the Yoruba in Southwest Nigeria. The ill intentions are deduced from the tenets and the ruled that guide the female regents on the throne. Such rules have been constructed because the Yoruba monarchy has been dominated by men. This is because as a community in Nigeria, the Yoruba society in the context of monarchical administration is governed by men.  In the traditional sphere in Nigeria, the monarchical administrative system is patriarchal in construct and in nature It is a system where men alone arrogate the innate rights to become kings and rule the people to themselves, while women are given just ceremonial and insignificant supportive titles and positions [7]. Being a regent is one of the baits men give to women in order to use them in the course of royal politics. For example, the phenomenon of female regency is an option to override suspicion in the patriarchal circle. Omodara explains that a regent may be a male. Opinions however vary as to the reason why some people prefer female regents to male regents giving equitable circumstances. Some have posited that a male regent may eventually refuse to vacate power for the substantive king due to the inordinate love of power. However, the female regent characteristically sees the position as an impediment to her movement and activities. Consequently, she hands over power to the legitimate king avidly. To this end, a woman has been used as a tool to assuage men’s frailties - covetousness and obduracy. The implication of this orientation and attitude is that the men in a royal family and the larger society see women who indeed are of the same royal birth and lineage as temporary occupiers of the throne. The female regent therefore, has to rule under stringent conditions such as being adorned in masculine attires. These are consequent stringent conditions and rules that the female regent must follow are arguably the most draconian of all the conditions. That the female regent has to wear male attires, that is she must appear masculine is echoed by [8] as he explains: the Regent is supposed to be an Acting Deji[2] in Public Service parlance. She enjoys all the honor and privileges attached to the office of the Deji but she has to dress as a man for the period she is Regent (p.1). It needs be stressed at this juncture that these stringent conditions are set to attain patriarchal appeasement. The forced acculturation of male appearance by the female regent as seen in the foregoing could be described as the Yoruba men’s sustained disregard for Yoruba women. This could be seen as being counterproductive to the global best practices using the standards set by the civilized societies as yardsticks. For example, in the United Kingdom, the Queen of England is not seen in male attires. The foregoing enunciation could be corroborated in an assertive explanation of Pike [9] on the attires of the queen in 2020 that: To mark the Duke of Edinburgh’s 99th birthday, the Palace released a portrait of the Queen and Prince Philip taken at Windsor Castle. Her Majesty wore a blue dress with a yellow floral print by Angela Kelly for the photograph, with a simple string of pearls and the Cullinan V Brooch Queen Elizabeth II presented Captain Tom Moore with his knighthood at Windsor Castle, wearing a button-up turquoise coat and a hat with a pink floral corsage. She completed her ensemble with her signature black accessories, earrings that originally belonged to her grandmother, Mary of Teck, and a floral brooch she first wore in (p. 227). A critical consideration of the key words in this disclosure shows that they are feminine signifying that the queen wore women’s attire unlike the female regent’s fate on the throne. Again, the Queen of England has been on the throne since 1952 which means that her royalty is substantive and permanent. What a royal daughter experiences in Southwest Nigeria; first she has only the option of a regent, second, the regency tenure is transient, at two years. In fact, the governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi[3], has declared openly that there are steps being taken by the government of the state to begin the full enforcement of the two-year tenure of regency as permitted by law [10]. This according to the governor is intended to stem protracted regal legal battles that often characterize the appointment of monarchs and other traditional rulers in a number of the towns and communities in the agrarian state. Governor Fayemi further pointed this out this on at the inauguration of the Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers, under the headship of Onisan of Isan Ekiti, Oba[4] Gabriel Adejuwon held at the conference hall at the Governor’s Office in Ado Ekiti. It is germane, at this juncture that legislating the transiency of female regency as could be seen here is a promotion of bias against women. And for the emphasis, the consequence is that the SDG gender agenda spelt out in SDG Goal 5 will not be attained as, in the context of monarchical administration, there is a law that forbids them from unrestricted access to regal rights and heritage. The segregation of women through exploitation is made to be worse when other forbidden acts for the regent while on the throne are considered. The female regent is forbidden from economic engagements which contravene the SDG goal 8-Decent Work and Economic Growth. She cannot have sex while on the throne. This is for the purpose of forestalling a situation whereby the female regent would get pregnant and produce a male child who may want to lay claim to the throne in future. If this happens, it means that the girl child (the female regent) has created a royal lineage. This is considered too much an honor for the female child in the family because the glory of the Yoruba royalty is immense [11]. It could be concluded that this is gender injustice which is inimical to the SDG aspiration in Goal 16 bordering on peace as well as justice.

There is a rather unusual situation in the Southwest Nigeria whereby women are being killed for money rituals. It has been observed that the perpetrators of this heinous crime against women are men and not women against each other. This is a reflection of cultural conception of women in Southwest Nigeria. The implication of this is that women are seen as mere objects or tools to be used to achieve materialist patriarchal aspirations. The killings are therefore an objectification of women and the female sex which is against SDG Goal 5 that campaigns for gender equality. This situation will make the implementation of this SDG goal difficult, if possible, at all, to be implemented in Southwest Nigeria. It must be stated that gender attitude is significantly civil and less governmental because the cultural perception and attitude of a person in a public position goes a long way in determining the formation and implementation of a policy.  There are a number of cases to be cited and examined and these cases are from published works as we are of the view that published document either print or digital (Internet-based) exhibit substantial formalization. To this end, the writer explores some newspaper reports on the killings of women by their male lovers in the contemporary times in Southwest Nigeria. On Sunday January 10, 2021, Daily Trust[5] reports ‘Man Kills Girlfriend for Money Ritual’ and reveals ‘A 31-year-old man in Osun State, Tajudeen Monsuru, has confessed that he killed his girlfriend, Mutiyat Alani for money ritual’ [12]. On June 11, 2021 Vanguard[6] featured the headline ‘How I helped my friend kill, butcher his lover for ritual - Suspect’. In the same vein, on June 11, 2018, Odita of the The Guardian[7] reported thus: ‘I killed my friend, took his heart for money-making ritual, man confesses’. Similarly, Ripples Nigeria, on June 17, 2021, reported another case in the headline ‘Police parade man for allegedly killing fiancée for money ritual’. The reports go thus: The Nigeria Police on Wednesday paraded a 54-year-old man, Christopher Akpan, for allegedly killing a 45-year-old National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officer, identified as Josephine Cynthia. Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said Akpan had promised to marry Josephine but in the course of the relationship, a lot of financial dealings took place, as it is was believed that Josephine gave a large amount of money to Akpan. He said, “Between December 19 and 20, 2019, she visited her lover who lured her to the house of a native doctor[8], Rafiu Afolabi, 67, in Benue, where she was murdered and her body buried in a shallow grave in the forest. It is important to stress that the mastermind of the crime in this specific case is a Yoruba man from Southwest Nigeria where the paper primarily investigates. This signifies in addition to offering their female lovers for money rituals, Yoruba men also serve as vendors of such a social ill for people from other parts of Nigeria such as Akpan[9]. And, to mention a few from countless cases, on June 17, 2021, Sahara Reporters[10] broke the news on this fatal onslaught on women especially in Southwest Nigeria, under the headline ‘Osun[11] Police Apprehended Man Who Killed Girlfriend for Ritual Purposes After Having Sex with Her’. This is another vivid instance of patriarchal barbarity against women in Southwest Nigeria. The female girl child is not spared in this patriarchal fatal orchestration against women in Southwest Nigeria. This observation is corroborated in the February 4, 2020 report that a man, Olamide A wogbayi, has been arrested by the Ondo State Police Command for defiling a 13-year-old teenage girl in Akure. The Police Public Relations Officer in Ondo, CSP Femi Joseph, affirmed that the suspect would be arraigned after the completion of preliminary investigation [13]. All of these instances and many more reports point to the patriarchal fatal attacks on women in Southwest Nigeria. This situation is however inimical to the ideal of universalism of cultural globalization and the achievements of the SDG goals in the region before the set timeline for implementation in 2030. This shall be discussed in elaborate details subsequently.

Levirate marriages otherwise known as widow inheritance are still being practiced in Southwest Nigeria. Widow inheritance is a situation whereby the brother of a deceased husband marries the widow of the dead. In fact, it is a cultural practice. Traditional Yoruba culture encourages it. It is believed among Yoruba people that the bride price paid as a rite or a requirement is interpreted as a life-long ownership of the woman. Though Ngcobo argues against this position maintaining that such was once the assumption or misconception of the missionaries in Africa, reality in Southwest Nigeria nowadays affirms that most Yoruba men especially in the traditional setting and with aboriginal sensibility see the bride price Yoruba men pay as a purchase of their wives. The indigenous people of Southwest Nigeria buttress this cultural practice with the philosophical assertion that adie ki i ku, k’a da eyin e nu[12] (the eggs of a dead hen cannot be discarded, they must be consumed). However, this cultural practice could be seen as gagging the widow, denying her, in the process, freedom of will and choice. This is denial of peace at the micro level of the society thereby harming SDG Goal 16 which borders on peace and justice. The practice of widow inheritance is being used as an instrument of taking over the estate that the deceased bequeathed to his wife and children. The consequence of this is a denial of the widow of means of economic possessions. This leads to impoverishment, and the situation is worsened by the fact that the inheriting husband would want to have more children to legitimize the marriage and the ‘possession’ of the widow. This makes the family larger than necessary. These consequences harm SDG objective of economic growth as Goal 8.

There are quite a number of philosophical beliefs and philosophies which promote an objectification of women in this African community. They promote the limit of the social presence and significance of women in society. Such a restriction has been pointed out and lamented by Egodi [14]. in the revelation that the influence of women was essentially restricted to women’s affairs. Men, to the contrary, were responsible for men’s affairs and for the society at large. Women did occupy a very small niche in the political activities. They also exercised less power than men in society. There is a manifest deliberate patriarchal attempt to make women irrelevant in society. Such an attitude is physically present among the Yoruba and separate women from men altogether. The consequence of this is that the gender equality agenda because of which the initiative was conceived will not be achieved among the indigenous people of Southwest Nigeria, the Yoruba. Such a view of limitation and incompetence which the Yoruba men hold about Yoruba women is contained in the cultural assertion that awo egungun[13] l’o birin le se, awo gelede[14] l’o birin le mo, b’o birin ba f\o ju kan oro, oro a gbe (women may know other cults, but if a woman sights oro[15], oro[16] will devour her) There is a threat in this philosophical saying and the members of the oro cult always carry out the assertion in this philosophical belief to make this belief a practice. They characteristically declare day-time curfews when they want to perform their rituals as [15] analyses. In his words: The Oro Festival is a festival celebrated in South-West Nigeria by the Yorubas. It is an event celebrated by towns and settlements of Yoruba origin. It is an annual traditional festival that is of patriarchal nature, as it is only celebrated by male descendants who are paternal natives to the specific locations where the particular event is taking place. During the festival, females and non-natives stay indoors as oral history has it that Oro must not be seen by women and non-indigenes [16] The day-time declaration of curfew by oro cult custodians is to make women who are not aware of the curfew fall victims as noted above.  In any case, a society where the culture of women denigration still exists may not be able to implement SDG global aspiration on gender equality by year 2030. This is especially so in view of the fact that this situation is a culture-mediated circumstance and culture has the mark of indelibility or permanence and constantly characterize the people that practice it [17]. Peace intentions of the UNDP and the partnership needed to attain a sustainable global society are threatened in the Yoruba community. An addition to a piece of evidence to suggest the objectification of the African woman in Southwest Nigeria is the concept of Oba Gbe’se le e[17] (the king has confiscated her). Sense of humanity signifies that it is only items of possession that should or can be confiscated. Therefore, the monarch’s authoritarian and insensitive commandeering of women portrays the men’s perception of women as a material item. This removes human dignity from the women and as long as this exists in the consciousness of the Yoruba men as a cultural conception, the implementation of SDG Goal 5 - Gender Equality shall be hampered. This is especially so that the cultural reorientation of Yoruba men about women has to have been accomplished in order that gender equality will have been achieved among the Yoruba people (and among peoples around the world) before 2030. However, it is doubted if this long-time patriarchal or cultural belief could have been reversed before the set deadline as a cultural change is gradual in manifestation. In addition to this is the cultural conception among the Yoruba people that a woman can, indeed, should be caned by her husband as a measure of disciplinary correction. Such a cultural conception and practice is seen in the proverbial saying pasan ti a fi na iyale wa l’oke aja[18] fun’yawo (the cane with which the first wife was corrected is still in the roof for the new wife). This practice establishes patriarchal brigandage against women. Such objectifies women because it limits their dignity and prestige as they are treated by their husbands as kids. The Yoruba people also believe that olobe l’o l’o’ko (it is the woman whose delicacy is sweetest that the husband chooses). The implication of this is that women are there or they do exist to serve men at home to boost the ego of men. This reduces Yoruba (African) women to insignificance. More derogatory proverbial and cultural conception of women in Southwest Nigeria is signified in the assertion eni ba fe arewa ni iyawo fe iyonu (a man that marries a fashionable and beautiful woman as wife marries restlessness). This is a patriarchal suggestion that women are loose and that they do not have a sense of dignity and self-control, and this conception damages their reputation in society. And the same sense of nothingness which the Yoruba patriarchy conceives about women is sustained in their belief that obinrin bi’mo fun ni ko ni k’o ma pa’ni (that a woman has given birth to children for a man does not mean she cannot kill her husband). However, the tendency to kill mentioned here is a human frailty and not the peculiar weakness of women. Indeed, Yoruba men do kill their wives at the slightest provocation as could be gleaned from. Tell Africa’s June 22, 2020 report headline ‘Husband Allegedly Murders Wife, Commits Suicide Afterwards in Lekki’. According to Tell Africa the incident happened in Lekki[19] Lagos and the Spokesman of the Police Command in Lagos State Bala Elkana confirmed the incident in which a man known as Femi[20] murdered his wife. What this situation suggests is that the fatality tendency contained in the assertion above is a mere patriarchal attack on women among the Yoruba. Such an attack, however, is age-long and endemic in the Yoruba patriarchal circle and as a result of this situation the agenda of the SDG to institute gender equality, peace and justice, and partnership (as specified in Goal 5, Goal 16, and Goal 17 in respective order) is threatened. This is especially so in the context that these expectations are to be attained before 2030.

It is perhaps incontrovertible that today’s world is one that utilizes the principles of globalization. In view of the prevalent importance and advantages of globalization in the global society, the patriarchal assumptions and cultural practices against Yoruba women are reviewed along the place of globalization in the contemporary time. Doing so is critical because the SDG Initiative itself could be interpreted as an agent of globalization whose remote goal is unification of the global cultures. In this case the seventeen Goals of the SDG are yardsticks for measuring cultural standard.  To this end, the Yoruba patriarchal attitude to women tends to be at variance with the global cultural best practices. It may be unarguable that women are respected and their rights assured in the Western and Eastern parts of the world. This is a part of their protection of the civil society. It is their heritage. The conspicuous merit noticeable in this socio-cultural practice makes it desirable by the West to replicate (globalize) it in the rest of the. However, this seems not to be the case with the Yoruba patriarchal attitude to women as dictated by the prevalent traditional assumptions. This is because as the Western/Eastern attitude to women could be seen in the light of the protection of the vulnerable group, the Yoruba African cultural assumptions and attitude to women could be seen as an oppression of the vulnerable group. Such a practice may not be desirable for global externalization. This perhaps is an affirmation of the viewpoint that globalization is posing a huge contention and challenge to the countries in the developing regions of the world [18]. This is because, in this cultural context, the Yoruba (symbolic of African) mores tend to be in collision with the general global cultural practice. The situation above is not in favor of the Yoruba society as an African society as it will be little-known because its culture is not in alignment with the orientation of the global society. Yet, Africa needs globalization because according to Soyinka[21] as reported by The Indian Express[22] globalization is inevitable in Africa, but that Africans only need to preserve their culture. He is particular about cultural globalization, asserting that Cultural globalization is more conspicuous of all the forms of globalization as culture in addition thrives on Western and Eastern technologies. This is because these regions of the world are the developed parts of the global community in such ramifications of measurement as economy, technology, science, politics and governance, military might, and, to mention a few, civil comportment. To Soyinka, the inevitability of globalization rises from the link between culture and technology as the latter proliferates through the former and African cannot go on with life without globalization. This is particularly so as technology dilutes the identity of the African person. The situation therefore makes the phenomenon of globalization become unavoidable in Africa especially to the Southwestern people of Nigeria. As a result of the inevitability of globalization Soyinka tends to be of the view that African should seize the efficiency of globalization to make itself relevant to the rest of the world. To achieve this, globalization traffic needs be redirected such that it will rise from Africa (as a Third World nation) to the rest of the world.

If the only avenue through which Africa could be assertive in the global community is the preservation and globalization of its culture, yet such elements of the African culture manifest in an inimical perception of the African woman as highlighted above, it may then be determined if such cultural assumptions and practices against women are exportable to the Western nations such as The United States where civil advocacy for the protection of women has been taken to the congress [19] and  The Netherland where the concept of individual freedom along personal responsibility exist [20]. To this end, the perception of women in the aboriginal realm of the Yoruba in the Southwest Nigeria as dictated by culture is counterproductive to the principle of globalization. It also hurts the aspiration and agenda of the SDG. This makes it apparently impracticable to implement the SDG goals regarding the rights of women in all ramifications in Southwest Nigeria (as applies to the entire country, Nigeria) before the 2030 deadline. An extension of the deadline by at least a decade along a vigorous campaign for patriarchal reorientation on gender mutual respect may save a situation where the SDG initiative will fail in a region as vast as Southwest Nigeria.

The United Nations’ aspiration to achieve global gender equality is yet to be implemented in Nigeria as has been noted. This initiative as intended to be achieved through the SDG framework requires a cultural reorientation among the people of the Southwest Nigeria in order that this laudable development brainwave will be attained in this part of the global society. There tends to be a collision between the tenets of the SDG and the cultural philosophies of the aboriginal people of the Southwest Nigeria. This is particularly seen in the patriarchal conception of women among the Yoruba people domiciled in this part of Nigeria. What the cultural or patriarchal conception of women signifies is utter disregard for and objectification of women. The implication of this is that such practices or conceptions of women run counter to the views and positions of women in the civilized parts of the world. This means that the gender conception and practices of the Yoruba people are not in tandem with the global gender best practices, and as such the conceptions and practices hurt SDG intensions on women’s social status signified in Goal 5 - Gender Equality. In the course of men’s assertion of their dominance and rule over women, there are many gender and human right infractions that are committed. The female regency monarchical practice in Southwest Nigeria is a denial of rights of women to heirdom. The ritual practice of killing women for money making is an objectification of women and their humanity. Women in levirate marriages are impoverished through asset confiscation and uncontrolled birth. This is against SDG Goal 8 - Decent Work and Economic growth, as well as Goal 18 which calls for peace and justice. To this end, the SDG agenda tend to not be feasible in Southwest Nigeria.  To reverse this alarming situation, there is is need for an extension of the 2030 deadline to allow for patriarchal reorientation. This becomes inevitable because these acts of the maltreatment of women in Southwest Nigeria are a cultural phenomenon and the reversal of a cultural conception requires an appreciable period of time.
[1] Ekiti is a generic place name that designates town and cities that come from Ekiti State, Southwest Nigeria. A group of this homogenous people adds their common name to Ekiti to signify or specify the group among the many groups of people in the Ekiti enclave. This accounts foe compound place names such as Ado Ekiti, Ilasa Ekiti, Ikere Ekiti and so on as above.
[2] Deji is the title of a paramount monarch in Akure, a city in Southwest, Nigeria and capital of Ondo State, one of the six that make up the Southwest geo-political zones in Nigeria.
[3]  A prominent politician, a governor in Southwest Nigeria
[4] ‘Oba’ is the Yoruba word for ‘king’
[5] Daily Trust is one of the leading Nigerian newspapers. It was established in 1998.
[6] Vanguard is a prominent Nigerian newspaper. It began publishing operation in 1983.
[7] The Guardian is a Nigerian Newspaper. It started publishing in 1983
[8] A local term for a traditional medicine practitioner
[9] ‘Akpan’ is a masculine name of the people from the South-South and South-East parts of Nigeria.
[10] SaharaReporters is an online news reports agency based in New York City. It was founded in 2006 by Omoyele Sowore.
[11] Osun is one of the six states in Southwest Nigeria. These six states constitute the Southwest Geo-political zones in Nigeria.  Other states in the zones are Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti, and Ondo
[12] This is Yoruba patriarchal rhetoric justifying the marriage to a widow. ‘Hen’ and ‘eggs’ are metaphor for the dead husband and his wife, respectively.
[13] A Yoruba deity.
[14] A Yoruba ritual cult with a dance steps and drum beats.
[15] This is a ritual cult among the Yoruba in Southwest Nigeria whose major characteristic is the declaration of curfews and the scaring of women.
[16] As 12 above.
[17] A Yoruba local expression which the king uses whenever he sees a woman married or virgin to say that the king has married you forcefully, the marital status or chastity of the woman is immaterial to the king and his council of chiefs who are excited and ready to enforce the monarch’s pronouncement. 
[18] Aja is a save created on the roof of a traditional building especially in the agrarian society where farm produce is kept a preservation. It is a ban or a silo.
[19] Lekki is a place in Lagos, Southwest, Nigeria. It is a community of the elite class of society. This is the specific region of interest for the research.
[20] The name ‘Femi’ is a Yoruba name in Southwest Nigeria.
[21] Soyinka, Wole is a Nobel Prize for Literature winner. He attained the intellectual feat in 1986. He is a Yoruba man, an indigene of Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria.
[22] The Indian Express is an India-based daily newspaper published in English. It is located Mumbai as published by the Indian Express Group. It has been publishing since 1931 according to Wikipedia
  1. Swain RB (2017) A Critical Analysis of the Sustainable Development Goals. In Handbook of Sustainability, Science and Research. Available online at:
  2. Mair S, Jones A, Ward J, Ian C, Druckman A, et al. (2017) A Critical Review of the Role of Indicators in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. In Handbook of Sustainability, Science and Research. Available online at:
  3. Bartholomew A (2018) Voice of Liberation: A Womanist Reading of Lynn Chukura’s Archetyping’. In A Osisanwo, K. Adebiyi - Adelabu and A. Mosabalaje (eds) Literary and Linguistic Perspectives on Orality, Literacy and Gender Studies. Ibadan: Kraft Books Limited, pp: 221-234.
  4. Femi A (2014) Indigenous Knowledge and Creativity: The Example of Yoruba Poetry. Hire JH 1(1): 57-77.
  5. Martin S (2011) Globalization and the End of Empire: A View from the 1980s’. In Africa, Empire and Globalization Essays in Honor of A.G. Hopkins. Falola Toyin and Brownell Emily (eds). Durham: Carolina Academic Press.
  6. Eniola F (2020) Check Out Gorgeous Photos of Regents in South West. Available online at:
  7. Sanusi S (2020) Meet 7 Nigerian female traditional monarchs. Available online at: December 12
  8. Wumi A (2021) ‘The Role of Regents in Yoruba Tradition’. Available online at:
  9. Naomi P (2021) A Detailed Look Through Queen Elizabeth II’s Wardrobe Evolution. Available online at:
  10. Hassan M (2021) Ekiti to Enforce Regency Tenure Law to Dissuade Prolonged Royal Legal Tussles. Available online at:
  11. Olaoba OB (2005) The Yoruba Palace as Court of Arbitration’. In Akinwunmi Ogundiran (ed) Precolonial NIGERIA Essay in Honor of Toyin Falola. Trenton: African World Press, Inc. pp: 241-256.
  12. Abdul AB (2021) Man Kills Girlfriend for Money Ritual. Daily Trust. Available online at:
  13. Peter D (2021) Police arrest man for defiling teenager in Ondo. Available online at:
  14. Egodi U (2005) Women, Power, and Political Institution in Igboland’. In Akinwunmi Ogundiran (ed) Precolonial NIGERIA Essay in Honor of Toyin Falola. Trenton: African World Press, Inc. pp: 203-214.
  15. Alade A (2019) A peep into the secret Oro festival in Yorubaland’ in Vanguard Newspaper. Available online at:
  16. Vanguard Newspaper (2021) ‘How I helped my friend kill, butcher his lover for ritual-Suspect’.Available online at:
  17. Awosusi OO (2018) University Culture and Organization Citizenship Behaviour of Administrators in the Nigerian University System. A Public Lecture at Redeemer’s University, Ede, Nigeria.
  18. Ochayi, Okpeh (2011) ‘Globalization and the Politics of Aid to Africa’. In Africa, Empire and Globalization Essays in Honor of A.G. Hopkins. Falola Toyin and Brownell Emily (ed). Durham: Carolina Academic Press.
  19. Klasing (2019) Amanda and Epstein, Elisa. 2019. US Congress Should Pass Law to Protect Women’s and Girls’ Rights Around the World Restore Funding Cut to UNFPA Over Reproductive Health Concerns. Accessed on September 04, 2021. Available online at:
  20. Hirsi AA (2010) Nomad. London: Simon & Schuster. Available online at: