Oluwo of Iwo
• I will Not Be Party To Secret Society
• I’m Not The First Yoruba Oba To Marry A Foreigner
Oba Abdul Rasheed Adewale Akanbi is the stylish Oluwo of Iwoland. He hailed from Ile Molaasan Gbase ruling house in Iwo. He is a Nigerian-Canadian citizen with a wealth of international experience and connections required for the socio-economic development of his domain.
The Oluwo of Iwoland is a young, vibrant and dynamic man with a passion and love for the development of Ayedire, Iwo and Ola Oluwa in general. On November 19, 2015, the Secretary to the Osun State Government, Alhaji Moshood Olalekan Adeoti, signed a letter approving the appointment of Abdul Rasheed Adewale Akanbi as the 16th Oluwo of Iwo land.
The letter reads: “The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has approved the appointment of a new Oluwo of Iwo. He is Prince Rasheed Adewale Akanbi of the Gbaase Ruling House of Iwo, State of Osun.
“This choice follows the completion of the due process by the kingmakers and the communication of their decision to the Government.”
In this interview with The Palace Watch, the Oluwo gave out a little on how he runs his affair.
On relationship with his subjects
Please go round Iwo town and suburbs to enquire from the common people on the street their feelings towards me, and they will tell you they love their Oba, which is as a result of my concern for their welfare and wellbeing. Without any fear of contradiction, I am about the only Oba in Yoruba land today who is not involved in land racketeering. I have consistently said I do not need anybody’s land to survive.
As obtained in the past, some of the Obas overreach themselves as monarchs with the type of things they do. But I am making strenuous efforts to change all this, hence the attacks from all angles.
On why he would not join secret society
I have always lectured the people sent to me at length. I ask if they realise that they are responsible for all the atrocities our youths are presently committing in and outside the campuses, on the streets of most of the capital cities in Nigeria, in the name of secret societies.
Today, most youths now see secret society as a thing of fashion and class, all because some of our elders have entrenched that value in our system. I, therefore, pleaded with them to go have a rethink, as belonging to any secret society is not what induces or is required for the development of any society. When they left with their tails between their legs, expectedly, I knew they were going to fight.
As they did not take kindly to my submission, it was, therefore, not surprising that they deployed all the weapons in their possession to fight back. Allah, who is the King of all Kings, is my fortress and rock in these matters. And this too will surely pass. People are free to allege whatsoever pleases them, but that will not make me veer away from the ways of the Lord, which I am already used to. Our God will surely see me through all these painful and discomforting experiences. Nothing lasts forever, and with time, they will get tired and leave me alone to serve my people, as the Oluwo of Iwo.
In the past, a lot of things used to happen in most palaces across the land in the name of our customs and traditions. For instance, have you ever sat down to examine the reasons an Oba will decide to sometimes acquire up to 20 wives during his reign, when it is obvious that at old age, the Oba can no longer sleep with such women? Such atrocious acts in the past were the making of some palace guards and chiefs, such as the Aremo.
In those days, the Oba hardly ventured out of his palace. The Aremo is like the Oba’s eyes and ears on the street in his domain. So, for example, a palace guard or the king’s cup bearer, who is desirous of having a young and beautiful woman he couldn’t afford, would go to the Oba and inform him that he just noticed a beautiful lady in so and so place in town. Knowing full well they couldn’t afford or approach such a lady on their own, they would cajole the king, saying, “Kabiyesi, I have just seen a very charming lady in town. I think the lady should be brought into the palace as your wife”.
Knowing that the Kabiyesi didn’t have what it takes or the libido to satisfy her sexually, they would go ahead to do all they could to bring such a lady into the palace as the Oba’s wife. After sometime, they would take over the woman, and the rest is history.
The burden of maintaining such a lady alongside other women already in the palace would now rest on the common people, who had already been over tasked.
These are some of the things I told them I will never be a party to.
On his black Canadian wife
If I must confess, I am amazed at the very fast pace my lovely wife is getting accustomed to my people and tradition. She is excited about it all and she is also learning. So far, she has not gone out of her way to break any of our customs or traditions and she has equally not offended anybody, be it my chiefs or any of my subjects. She is coping very well.
However, I am not the first Yoruba Oba to marry a foreigner. Some Obas married pure white ladies, and the heavens did not fall. My wife is a black Canadian.
On rumours he stages disco sessions
Where are all these coming from? Before and since I became an Oba, I have never organised a disco session in my palace.
Rather, what we do here regularly is hold prayer sessions. Before the advent of Christianity and Islam, the palaces across the land were places of prayers and worship, and this tradition I have decided to uphold.
After God Almighty, Who is the King of kings, we, the ordinary mortals are kings. For us to survive as kings, therefore, we must learn as a matter of habit, to continually wish the King of kings well. This is what I will continue to do in this palace. Me, organise a disco session here? Allah forbids that.