Statement from the office of the Osi Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland land, Chief Gani Kayode Balogun, on plan by the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, to desecrate Yoruba culture and tradition.
Our attention has been drawn to an interview granted by the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, in which the monarch turned himself into the mouthpiece of the Olugbo, regarding the indiscriminate, inordinate creation of Yoruba Obas in the Diaspora embarked upon by the Olugbo to the chagrin of the majority of Obas in Yorùbáland.
We have also noticed the exiguous reference the Oluwo made to the Ààrẹ Ọ̀nà Kakaǹfò of Yorubaland and we therefore wish to state as follows:
That the Ààrẹ Ọ̀nà Kakaǹfò of Yorubaland has a deep sense of history, such is his revered role as to be able to place issues as they affect the Yoruba in proper perspective!
The Oluwo should recall that as he is the 16th Oluwo, if we are to count from Parin or the 14th, if we are to count from the more acceptable Oluwo Adagunodo, and so is the Ààrẹ Ọ̀nà Kakaǹfò, Iba Gani Abiodun Ìgè Adams, the 15th Ààrẹ of Yorubaland.
Contrary to what the Oluwo said in his interview on Rave FM Programme, “Frank Talk,” the Ààrẹ is Not a chief.
It is important to point to the Oluwo that the nascency of his problem as he is wont to often grapple with history, is sadly his tendency to overreach himself, always missing the facts and finding himself at odds with the Yoruba culture and tradition!
Shall we say that since this Oluwo did not observe the full initiation and integration at Ipebi and by his own mouth confessing to have skipped the vital Ifá solemnation of his stool, therein lies his problem to be always be at variance with our history, culture and tradition at all times!?
To help this Oluwo, a reminder, or perhaps a tutelage that the Ààrẹ is the King appointed over all warriors in the four corners of Yorubaland, from the Ẹkùn Ọ̀tun, Ẹkùn Òsì, Ẹkùn Ebolo And Ẹkùn Epo.
The Ààrẹ as a king is coronated with the Ojijiko crown, which only the Ààrẹ alone is allowed to wear and none other shall wear it.
The Ààrẹ is invested with the powers to administer his rule, investing such powers over his 60 chiefs flung and scattered in all corners of Yorubaland.
Even a poor student of history knows the place of the Ààrẹ among his fellow monarchs.
How poor can this Oluwo then be if he has to be schooled in the basic Rudiments of our culture.
Today, as much at it was in the 16th century that witnessed the creation of the present city of Iwo and the revered institution of the stool of the Ààrẹ, the Ààrẹ as the defender of the realm, is as important as he was at the Time of Kòkòrò Gangàn the first Ààrẹ and Adagunodo the Oluwo who saw in the Ààrẹ a king and was glad of the exploits of the Ààrẹ.
Such are the reasons that accompanied the installation of Ààrẹ Gani Ìgè Adams, with a staff of office given to him in the presence of no less than 780 Yoruba monarchs, two Governors, top representatives of all the Governors in South-West, North, Niger Delta and Republic of Benin were also present at Durbar Stadium in Ọ̀yọ́ Aláàfin, during the historical event. The event is in the media for anybody to see. And I urge the Oluwo to find time to watch the video of the epoch-making event on the social media via YouTube, and compare that event to the day of his installation as the Oluwo of Iwo land.
Ààrẹ Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Ibà Gani Ìgè Adams, is pained just as other monarchs are, concerning the preponderance of issues plaguing Yoruba monarchies as we are currently embroiled in not a few of such controversies, particularly as it affects the Oluwo. Had it been in the olden days, it would have been impossible for the Oluwo to continue in his erring ways, as it was the job of the Ààrẹ to reprimand erring monarchs…….Be that as it may, the Ààrẹ is now calling on the authorities to create without delay, a central council of Obas from all the Yoruba speaking Ethnicities to help administer proper conduct, ethics and culture among the monarchs. It has now become important to do so.
Such a body, shall comprise of Notable Obas from each state of the Yoruba Nation and part of what is important is the discourse on the need to correct the faulty succession and selection processes, as clearly seen in the quality of those emerging unto the traditional stools of our forefathers.
The very first meeting in which senior Yoruba Obas were in attendance including the Oba of Benin, was held in Oyo Alaafin in 1937.
Subsequently, the meetings were held annually, moving from place to place. Only five Obas attended the first meeting, but was subsequently expanded to include the Oninana of the Gas people near Accra, Ghana, who is also a Yoruba Ọba.
Very strict rules were set for those Obas who sought to wear beaded Crowns… And in the meeting held in Ile-Ife among the Yoruba Obas in 1959, the late Ooni Ife, Oba Sir, Adesoji Aderemi, had this to say:
“In the course of our deliberations at Benin City last year we touched on, the question of indiscriminate award of spurious titles to people by the Obas and Bales as also of illegal wearing of crown by chiefs who were not entitled to do so. It was hoped then that the Council, now Committee of Obas and Chiefs would be able to deal with this matter in their meetings during the year but circumstances did not afford it an opportunity of meeting until shortly before this Conference just in haste to give decision on very urgent matters and to discuss some bills. I regret to say that during the year, there have taken place many illegal wearing of crowns in, for instance Oshun Division, llesha Division and in other little known villages of the coastal district. At llesha, I gather that it has caused some bad blood.
You will agree with me, gentlemen that it is a serious lapse in our custom and tradition for a chief to dare to put on his head a beaded crown to which he has not succeeded! What glory, what honour is there in a crown which one’s father never wore, never bequeathed!! Those who persist in wearing beaded crown unlawfully may one day be called upon to surrender them; I can only advise them to discontinue doing so before they are compelled to abandon them: I also feel to warn those who are just thinking of wearing crown illegally to try to have some confidence in themselves. They should cease to suffer from inferiority complex. They should try to have the courage to restrain themselves from following the path of perversion – No amount of distortive history can right what is fundamentally wrong. Don’t let us deceive ourselves, it is not the hood that makes the rank: it is not beaded crown that makes an Oba. For instance, you have in the hierarchy of chiefs great rulers such as the Olubadan of Ibadan, the Shohun of Ogbomosho, the Timi of Ede to mention just a few who never wear a beaded crown, the fact is that non-wearing of beaded crown by them does not detract a jot from the importance and the dignity attached to their titles and their personalities.
Behold the Timi of Ede any day in his Akoro headgear which is the proper thing for him to wear and you find a dignified ruler who is very confident of himself and his ancient title: the same ‘holds good for the Shohun of Ogbomosho who has never bothered himself about the beaded crown which his village heads have made so cheap. And what of the Olubadan of Ibadan, head of more than three quarter of a million people; his dignity, indeed his greatness lies in his simplicity. A word is enough for the wise.”
The Ààrẹ has only brought out this piece from the revered Ọba Adesoji Aderemi, The late Ooni of Ifẹ, to show how those entrusted with sustaining, preserving and maintaining our tradition have so bastardized it, a situation that has allowed Olugbo to embark on proliferation of meaningless obaship in the Diaspora, and the desecration of the Yorùbá culture of Oluwo calling himself an Emir and placing a crown on the head of his wife. Oba Akanbi remains the only Oba in Yoruba history that has truly done that. It is an aberration.
The Ààrẹ has a lot of regard for the good people of Iwo and rightly acknowledges the important place Iwo holds in history and in Yorùbáland. Particularly the culture of Yorubaland in ọdún eégún of Iwo that the Ààrẹ most grateful to the Ìwo community for upholding. However, Oluwo has continued to emphasize his Islamic faith over our culture and tradition, forgetting that he is Oluwo, a monarch that is meant to serve all.
Iwo is a secular city, with Muslims in the majority. Far from it. Is it possible that the Oluwo might have forgotten that from 1958 to 1982, Oba Samuel Omotoso Abimbola was The Oluwo of Iwo and one of the longest that reigned so peacefully in the ancient town!??
Or, does the Oluwo not know that Iwo is where even an Ifá verse extolled the exploits of Orunmila the Philosopher and Sage, who married his wife, “Apetebii”, the mother of Afuwape, upon paying a huge price like Jacob of the Bible did for Rachel, and that is the Etymology of the word, “Iyawo”, which means, “Wife”, depicting, Iya—Iwo, that is, the suffering and degradation Orunmila suffered at Iwo, before he got his wife that turned out to become Great Blessings to him… Anyone who knows the Odu Ifa that speaks of this and also the story of Afuwape Omo Orunmila and Ilemere Omo Ija, will attest to the Blessings that come from Truly suffering to get a Good Wife.
Before then, the Yoruba word for wife, was, “Aya”!
This Oluwo must be made to undergo lessons in our ways, in order to be a good monarch!
Aare Gani Adams is living on history, and traditionally, he is the king of all warriors in Yorubaland and as a monarch,by virtue of his position, Oluwo should also know better that he is a product of history, he should know better of a prominent Yoruba adage that says”At’ari Ajanaku, kii se eru omode”.
Ààrẹ Gani Adams is not in the business of commercialising our culture and tradition and cannot be. Though a Muslim by birth, the Ààrẹ by his oath of office must exist for the upliftment and security of the Greater Yoruba, all faiths therefore are welcome to all monarchs as the father of all, the Ààrẹ therefore finds it worrisome in the conduct of the Oluwo, the acts by omission and commission that appear not to be in the interest of the Yoruba at these times in which the Yoruba Nation is seemingly under a siege.
The Ààrẹ, therefore, will wish the Oluwo to join him and others in finding solutions to the more important issues affecting our people, especially the spate of insecurity that had been ravaging the south (A good example was that of the lecturer from Obafemi Awolowo University) rather than to involve himself in such reckless, unfettered actions that seek to rather diminish us all, reducing our heritage as the illustrious Yorùbá race are far from the people to be so treated by one of their own, let alone a monarch of an important city such as Iwo! Now is the time for sober reflection.All stakeholders in Iwo land should call him to order. The time to speak up against all those that want to desecrate the Yoruba tradition is now, and we must rise against this, not individually but collectively, all in the interest of all.
As I have said earlier, Iwo is a very important city, with rich culture and tradition, therefore, nobody should be allowed to desecrate the rich culture and the good image of the town.
Chief Gani Kayode Balogun
Osi Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land.