By Gbenga Olarinoye, Osogbo
The controversial and flamboyant Oluwo of Iwoland, Osun State, Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi 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 (sic) 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.
“The proposed installation of the said recipient by your Highness as the Waziri of Iwo land is no doubt the result of your avowed commitment to the development of lslam, the lwo Community and Osun State in general.
“However, it is our considered hope that your Highness should as a matter of urgency correct the rumours making the round that the organisers of this event are trying to over blow the ceremony to capture the entire Yorubaland. This is not right.”
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.
The new Waziri promised to render selfless service that would promote religious growth and peaceful co-existence in Yorubaland.
Since becoming the Oluwo of Iwo, the traditional ruler has had a plethora of brushes with different individuals including but not limited to other traditional rulers.
Some time last year, the Alaafin of Oyo, Iku Baba Yeye, Alase Ikeji Orisa, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, had cause to abruptly cut short a presentation in the presence of the Oluwo due to an unnecessary interjection while the Aladdin was talking.
Earlier, just months after his coronation, the traditional ruler had a spat with a publisher, Abiola Ogundokun, a fellow Iwo indigene whom many had thought to be his bosom friend.
Just recently, the Oluwo alleged that His Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Eniitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, instructed his guards to shove him aside at a public function in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
On December 20, 2016, a Magistrate Court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State, presided by Mr. Olusola Aluko, issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the traditional ruler for violating the order of the court. The Court had asked Oluwo of Iwo to appear before it to answer the allegation against him by the Oluwo of Iwo-Oke, Oba Kadiri Adeoye. Instead, the Oluwo sent the Ologburo of Ogburo, Oba Asimiyu Sadiq to represent him during the trial.
Earlier this year, another Osun State Magistrate Court presided over by Magistrate A.O.Ojo, sitting in Iwo, ordered the remand of five thugs alleged to be working for the Oluwo Akanbi, in Ife prison custody for assault.
The five suspects, Sooko Adedimeji Tadese, Lukuman Lawal, Tajudeen Yususf, Oyelayo Jabaru and Kabiru Yaya. Other suspects alleged to have conspired with those ordered to be remanded, but are at large, include Aliu Kaska, Oji Oluwo, Woliu, Nurudeen and Laide
OLUWO OF IWO UP TO DATE:
Oba Adekola Telu
Oba Arole Olumade Parin
Oba Olayilumi I
Oba Eboade Olayilumi II
Oba Olufate Gbase
Oba Ogunmakinde Ande 1641- 1766
Oba Muhammadu Ayinla Lamuye 1766-1906
Oba Sunmonu Osunwo 1906-1909
Oba Sanni Abimbola I 1909-1929
Oba Seidu Adubiaran 1929-1930
Oba Shitu 1930
Oba Amida Abanikanda 1930-1939
Oba Kosiru Ayinde 1939-1952
Oba Rufai Adegoroye 1953-1957
Oba Samuel Omotoso Abimbola 1958- 1982
Oba Asiru Olatunbosun Tadese 1992 – 2012
Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi Gbaase II-ILUFEMILOYE TELU I 2015 – till date.