The Oluwo of Iwoland in Osun State, is now sick and tired of his Yoruba title and wants to be addressed as Emir.
“Yoruba Obas are full of bickering, acrimony and enmities”, Oba Akanbi said in his defence.
The Oluwo added that: “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”.
The Oluwo’s position has sparked quite some debate in Nigeria where traditional thrones in the nation’s six geopolitical zones are jealously guarded by locals and indigent populations alike.
Oba Akanbi's stance is a rarity among the Yoruba speaking Southwest States.
In a related development, Oba Akanbi had been warned by the League of Imams and Alfas in Southwest Nigeria, Edo and Delta States, not to install the position of Waziri in Osun State.
In a statement, the President of the league, Sheikh Jamiu Kewulere Bello, urged Oba Akanbi to limit the title to Iwoland, not the entire Yorubaland.
“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,” Bello said.
”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 has forgotten their history. Whoever is criticising me lacks history of Yorubaland”.
The Oluwo of Iwoland will be the first Emir in Southwest Nigeria in living memory.
The traditional title of ‘Emir’ has long been the exclusive preserve of traditional thrones in Northern Nigeria.
Oba Akanbi is now bucking that trend.