Leader of the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity (ROF), Chief Francis Meshioye, has again debunked public perception that the fraternity was a secret society.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos during flag off of 2019 Founders’ Day Celebration of ROF, Meshioye, said there was nothing sinister in the activities of the fraternity.
“We are far from being a secret society; we are a registered entity that abides with the laws of the land and our objectives are to promote positive values, truth, justice and cultural heritage,” he said.
He explained that contrary to beliefs in some quarters, there was nothing secret or sinister about the fraternity, saying it was founded for the good of the society.
Meshionye further explained that the fraternity was actually founded in 1914 by a Christian, Deacon Jacobson Ogunbiyi, saying the initial objective was to promote Christian values among the people.
He added that the group was later expanded to accommodate people of other faiths, hence the change in name from Ogboni Fraternity to Reformed Ogboni Fraternity.
Meshioye said a number of distinguished Nigerians, dead and living, were members of the group, emphasising that the fraternity was strictly for positive values.
He said that it was note-worthy that the founding fathers of ROF were part of those who fought for decolonisation of Nigeria, developed such establishments as the civil service, judiciary and many functional post-colonial institutions.
He listed some of them as late Sir Adetokunbo Ademola, late Chief Ladoke Akintola and late Sir Adeyemo Alakija.
The ROF leader said every Nigerian of good character could join the group as the fraternity was not for those who were seeking quick wealth.
According to Meshioye, it is important for people to understand what the group stands for, urging Nigerians to embrace the virtues of the fraternity
“The Reformed Ogboni Fraternity (ROF) has the ultimate objective of promoting good values, love discipline, not only in Nigeria but in other parts of the world wherever her members finds him or herself.
“There is a clear distinction between ROF as a fraternity and any other forms of organisations.
“Our fraternity compels her members to imbibe the fundamental injunction of ”do unto others as you wish others to do unto you.
“However, the fraternity had to overcome many challenges that were rooted in misinterpretations of what we stand for,” Meshioye said.
He said the celebration of ROF’s 2019 Founders’ Day was to promote the ideals of the fraternity and show the world that the group was all positive.