The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi,who recently dropped his royal status has denied adopting the title of an Emir. He said he remains the Oluwo of Iwoland.
Speaking through his media aide, Mr. Ali Ibrahim, in a statement issued recently, the Oluwo explained that he never dropped the title of an Oba for an Emir.
The statement read: “Oluwo has never adopted the Emir title; he only said he could also be called an Emir by the Hausas and ardent Muslims. “Oba Akanbi is an Oba for the nation, with special attachment to the Yorubas. He promotes Yoruba culture to the admiration of many youths. I said so (reference to being an emir) to integrate Nigeria nation as an indivisible entity. All working tools are available for the integration and unity of our dear country. “I’ve visited the North several times. Core Hausa hardly pronounce Yoruba words correctly. They call me emir when I am with them. Is there anything wrong in answering 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.”
The Oba was however criticised by many Nigerians especially the Yorubas on why a sitting traditional ruler will adopt the title of a foreign king.
The monarch has been dressing like an emir and wearing turban occasionally and he again wore the turban last Saturday when he installed Yakub Abdul-Baqi Mohhamed the Waziri of Yorubaland in his palace in Iwo.
He installed the Waziri, allegedly despite the warning given to him by the League of Imams and Alfas in South West, Edo and Delta states, that he had no such powers to confer an Islamic title, which cuts across the entire South West, on any individual.
Oba Adbulrasheed Akanbi, last Saturday, made history when he dropped the the title of Oba and declared his resolve to adopt the Emir title popularly known with Northern traditional rulers. According to 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 and expected royal characters, saying the Yoruba Obas have been polarized owing to enmities.
Oba Akanbi said until Yoruba Obas come together, shun enmities 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 enmities. There is nothing strange in adopting Emir title. I am the Emir of Yorubaland,” Oluwo said.