Like Ile-Ife Iwo is an old town in Osun State reputed worldwide for its great tradition and culture. For centuries great men had emerged as Obas to represent a great cultural heritage in Yorubaland. With the gradual devaluation and desecration of our traditional institutions kingdoms are being demystified by corruption and erosion of values hitherto held dear. Nigeria is losing her culture and values as politics of lucre and immorality takes the centre stage in our national life.
The Oluwo of Iwoland, Abdulrasheed Akanbi, (48), is a flamboyant youthful randy Oba enmeshed in scandals and controversies. He is arrogant, flashy, corrupt, brash and brutish. He holds nothing traditionally in esteem hence his determined resolve to drag the great Iwo tradition to the mud or gutter by all means possible.
One does not know how a brute whose past was nothing but fraud and sexual perversion could have suddenly found himself robed in a traditional gown greater than his entire being.
In a letter to the Osun State Government recently the Association of Iwoland Indigenes in Diaspora through their lawyer, Peter Adeosun, had raised a number of allegations against the monarch calling for his removal for gross abuse of office. They argued that Oba Akanbi’s character did not befit a person of his status and calibre as he always moved around with armed thugs, miscreants and hoodlums to harass, intimidate, molest and attack persons whom he perceived as enemies.
The concerned Iwo indigenes also accused Oba Akanbi of being an ex-convict who served time in United States jail for credit card fraud, drug trafficking among other criminal acts. A former criminal sitting on a throne of an Oduduwa entity?
Indeed it has been found to be reportedly true that Oba Akanbi was deported from the US to Nigeria in 1999 after his conviction for aggravated felony – an offence that carried a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or both!
He had changed his name from Segun Adewale Adeonigbagbe to Prince Adewale Akanbi to what have you. Oba Akanbi has not been very far from controversies since ascending the throne of Iwoland in 2016. Shortly after being installed as king, he notoriously declared himself an Emperor and proclaimed Iwo as an empire! He later proclaimed himself as an Emir taking after the Northern traditional rulers for purposes of monarchical superiority.
Earlier this year Oba Akanbi showed his dexterity in boxing by physically attacking another monarch, Agbowu of Ogbaagbaa, Oba Dhirulahi Akinropo, over a land dispute! The embarrassing incident led to his suspension for six months by the Osun State Council of Traditional Rulers.
Before his marriage with his erstwhile Jamaica-born wife, Chanel Chin, crashed in December 2019, Oba Akanbi was said to have put a crown on her head, emerging the first Yoruba monarch in recent times to do so! And worse of all, Ms Chin, based in Canada, had disclosed that Oba Akanbi forced her into marrying him after raping her during a visit to Nigeria in February 2016!
The divorced woman alleged that Oba Akanbi “started sleeping around with a lot of women, from Lagos to Iwo to Osogbo, to Ibadan. He was sleeping with a lot of women and promising them Olori”. A monarch as a rapist? Again the Jamaican beauty equally accused the Oba of telling lies to cover up his philandering lifestyle.
While we do not know how the traditional process that produced Akanbi as the Oluwo of Iwoland worked leading to his emergence onto the venerated throne his subjects seem to have had and heard enough of the waywardness of this ‘boy’ hell-bent on desecrating a centuries’ old tradition. So is it not time to ‘disarm’ him and his gang?
Whether he came in through the right means or not he ought to have been dethroned long ago following his monarchical malfeasance. No morally-upright monarch should have anything to do with controversy or scandal for him to be able to inspire confidence in the followers. This chap has been weighed and found wanting in every front. His downfall should follow suit before he commits more ‘harakiri’ or sets the throne ablaze!
A shameless traditional ruler that throws decorum to the wind by playing Mohammed Ali or replicating the pugilism skill of a Mike Tyson cannot be trusted or entrusted with a great crown. An Oba that raped a foreign woman blackmailing and promising her marriage or ‘Olori’ cannot be respected by his people talk less others outside the kingdom. An Oba that was once convicted of scam and narco peddling in far away America and deported home should have nothing to do with the traditional ruling institution.
Alas a retired swindler has found himself occupying a throne that ought to be reserved for great men with unblemished record. Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, the Oluwo of Iwoland, must be shown the way out sooner or later. He would be good, post-Oluwoship, as a playboy, a political tout or a boxer.
By his sacrilegious or abominable comportment he has effortlessly demonstrated that he is unfit to be called ‘His Majesty’. He manifests daily how not to be an Oba. Therefore, the viable option in our reckoning is dethronement!
Enough of the royal hubris in Iwoland!