The Yoruba Youth Socio-Cultural Association has come down heavily on the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Adewale Akanbi, for allegedly adopting the title of an Emir and for wearing a turban instead of the Yoruba traditional cap or the crown.
The National Coordinator of the YYSA, Mr. Olalekan Hammed, in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Sunday, said the Oluwo’s action could precipitate crisis in the future if not checked now.
The monarch has been dressing like an emir and wearing turban occasionally and he again wore the turban on Saturday when he installed Yakub Abdul-Baqi Mohammed as the Waziri of Yorubaland in his palace in Iwo.
He installed the Waziri contrary to the warning given to him by the League of Imams and Alfas in South-West, Edo and Delta states that he had no such right to confer an Islamic title which cut across the entire South-West on anybody.
The YYSA leader said, “If there is animosity among the Obas, he should work towards resolving it; he cannot just take the title of an Emir. What he is doing now is contrary to the tradition and history of the throne he occupies. Oluwo is not an Islamic title, it is a cultural title.
“We have had a Christian as the Oluwo in the past (from 1958 to 1982). What if another Christian becomes Oluwo in the future? Will he be allowed to change the title to that of evangelist or what or will he be referred to as an Emir of Iwo? It is not proper. Even the Oluwo is not in the position to install anybody the Waziri of Yorubaland because it is an Islamic title. The League of Imams has that power.
“As the Oluwo of Iwo land, he his restricted to Iwo land. Obas are custodians of culture and traditions and Oluwo should behave like one. Wearing a turban is like importing the culture of some other people into Yorubaland. He should wear the crown or Yoruba cap. What he is doing is contrary to Yoruba culture and he should lay a good example for the youths.”
However, the Oluwo has denied adopting the title of an Emir contrary to media reports.
Speaking through his media aide, Mr. Ali Ibrahim, in a statement issued on Sunday, the Oluwo explained that he had 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 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 dress code today, many children are attracted to Yoruba culture of wearing the aso ofi.
“I said so to integrate the Nigerian 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 called me emir when I am with them. Is there anything wrong in answering 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.”