By Dapo Akinrefon & Gbenga Olarinoye
IWO — THE Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, yesterday, denied changing his title from Oba to Emir.
Oba Akanbi said he “only disclosed he can also be called an Emir by his Muslim admirers especially the Hausa, who cannot pronounce Oba correctly.”
He described those condemning him for the report as ignorant of his true position, urging media commentators to acquaint themselves with the correct position before launching comment.
In a statement by the Palace press secretary, Mr. Alli Ibraheem said the report on the alleged adoption of Emir is a misconception of the media content by readers.
The statement reads: “Oluwo never adopted the Emir title, he only said he could also be called an Emir by the Hausa and ardent Muslims. Oba Akanbi is an Oba for the nation, with special attachment to the Yoruba. He promotes Yoruba culture to the admiration of many youths. Just because of Oluwo’s dress code today, many children are attracted to Yoruba culture.
“I said so to integrate Nigeria nation as an indivisible entity. All working tools are available for the integration and unity of our dear country. I have visited the North several times. The core Hausa hardly pronounce Yoruba words correctly. They called me Emir when I am with them. Is there anything wrong in answerable to such?
“Even, the Hausa in Iwo here call me Emir. Will I stop them from addressing me as such? No. I am a father to the nation being a first class paramount ruler.
“My dress is a respect to Yoruba. Yoruba heritage is the best worldwide. We are the hope of not only Nigeria but also the black race. Our conducts are undeniable. The corruption part of it is what I am checkmating.”
He lauded the media for the cooperation towards the promotion of Nigeria economy through seducing and patronizing headlines to sell their news content.
Meanwhile, angry reactions, yesterday, trailed the earlier decision of the Iwo monarch to drop the Oba title for the Emirate title.
While the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, described Oluwo’s decision as “mostly embarrassing”, the Obanla of Iwo, High Chief Ogundokun said the Iwo monarch was on his own.
State govt keeps mum
Several phone calls by Vanguard put across to the Commissioner of Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Osun State, Mr. Kolapo Alimi, to get the state government’s reaction, proved abortive.
It’s embarrassing —Afenifere
Reacting to the monarch’s decision, Afenifere called on the kingmakers to commence the process of installing another Oluwo over Akanbi’s alleged abdication of the throne.
Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin said: “I think the Oluwo of Iwo is not only an embarrassment to himself but to the entire Yoruba nation. For a paramount Yoruba Oba like Oluwo, who occupies a very important stool, to be doing all these kind of shenanigans, is mostly embarrassing. We are not saying he should not become anything he wants, but he cannot desecrate the stool he occupies, to promote any engender that negates Yoruba culture and tradition for which he was sworn in as Oba.
He’s on his own— Ogundokun
Ogundokun, who spoke with Vanguard, tackled the traditional ruler but urged that prayers be offered to God on his behalf for a change of heart.
His words: “Rasheed is on his own, nobody in Iwo kingdom is supporting him. We are children of Oduduwa, we are Yoruba. He (Oluwo) knows what he wants from the people. I don’t know where he got his own emirate from, Iwo has no emirate; he has no right to do or change it. Nobody can change our history overnight. We are not bastards. Only Oba Akanbi knows what he’s looking for, we are certainly not with him.”