Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, the controversial and flamboyant Oluwo of Iwoland, Osun State, Gbaase II, ILUFEMILOYE TELU I, who was installed Oba of Iwo town late in 2015, yesterday, made history when he dropped the the title of Oba and declared his resolve to adopt the Emir title, a title associated with traditional rulers of northern extraction.
Speaking at the installation and turbarning ceremony of an Islamic scholar, Sheikh Yahquub Abdul-Baaqi Mohammed, as first Waziri of Yoruba land, Akanbi said he decided to now bear “Emir of Iwoland” because he wants to emulate the attitudes of northern Emirs.
According to the Oluwo, Northern traditional rulers are better behaved than his counterparts from the Southwest, saying Yoruba Obas are full of bickering, acrimony and enmities. He said Yoruba traditional rulers lack cooperation expected of royal fathers, insisting that Yoruba Obas have been polarized owing to enmity among them.
The traditional ruler said until Yoruba Obas come together, shun enmity and backbiting, Hausas would continue to rule Nigeria. “I have decided to officially adopt Emir title today because I want to emulate the attitudes of Northern Emirs. They don’t begrudge themselves like Yoruba Obas. “It will surprise you to discover that for the past two years, there has not been meeting of Yoruba traditional rulers just because of enmity. There is nothing strange in adopting Emir title. I am the Emir of Yorubaland,” Oluwo said. Meanwhile, amid tight security presence, he went on to install and turbarn an Islamic scholar, Sheikh Mohammed, as first Waziri of Yoruba land. At the well attended ceremony held at the palace of the traditional ruler in Iwo yesterday, Islamic scholars, Islamic organisations, Imams and Alfas, government functionaries among other notable personalities in the state, were present.
Meanwhile, the installation of the Waziri was against warning served on Oluwo by the League of Imams and Alfas in Southwest Nigeria, Edo and Delta States, asking him to desist from installing Alhaji Mohammed as the Waziri of the Southwest.
In a statement signed by the President, League of lmams and Alfas, Southwest Nigeria, Edo and Delta States, Sheikh Jamiu Kewulere Bello, urged the traditional ruler to limit the title to Iwoland and not to the entire Yorubaland as being purported.
But the Oba turned Emir shunned warnings by the Islamic leaders and installed the Waziri amid pomp and pageantry saying “Iwo has used this Waziri title to announce to the world that truly Iwo is the citadel of Islamic knowledge.” The traditional ruler added that “Iwo has a unique and distinctive traditional history among the entire Yoruba race. And these peculiarities have made Iwo to be at the forefront in Yoruba land. “The occasion of the installation of Waziri Yorubaland is another great opportunity to create the necessary awareness and promote to the entire world the deep Islamic culture and heritage in Iwo.
“Waziri did not come from Northern part of Hausa tribe but from God. So, there is nothing strange in installing Waziri. Yoruba have forgotten their history. Whoever is critisising me lacks history of Yorubaland,” the monarch noted.