The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, yesterday debunked report suggesting that he has adopted the Emir title, explaining that he only said he would embrace their attitude.
Akanbi told LEADERSHIP that contrary to the media report, what he meant was that henceforth, he will imbibe the attitude of the Northern royal fathers who, he noted, are united and show great respect for hierarchy.
The monarch stressed that Northern Emirs’ penchant for respecting each other and having high esteem for hierarchy are part of the things that stand them out in the traditional institution.
The Oba said Emirs do not begrudge each other and as such, they always speak with one voice, adding that, “This is the type of attitude I want Yoruba Obas to imbibe”.
Also in a statement issued yesterday by his media aide, Mr. Alli Ibraheem, Oba Akanbi described the report that he adopted the Emir title as a product of misconception utilised by the enemies of Yoruba race to demean the revered paramount stool of Oluwo.
The royal father said he only disclosed that he could also be called an Emir by his Muslim admirers, especially the Hausas who cannot pronounce Oba correctly.
He noted that those condemning him for the report are ignorant of his true position, even as he implored public commentators to acquaint themselves with the correct position before launching negative comments.
Maintaining that there was never a time the Oluwo dropped Oba title for Emir, Ibraheem challenged those who reported the story to come with the factual evidence of the purported adoption.
The statement made available to LEADERSHIP reads in part: “Oluwo never adopt Emir title; he only said he can also be called an Emir by the Hausas and ardent Muslims. Oba Akanbi is an Oba for the nation with special attachment to the Yorubas. He promotes Yoruba culture to the admiration of many youths. Just because of Oluwo dressing codes today, many children are attracted to Yoruba culture by wearing Aso Ofi”.
Ibraheem quoted the monarch as saying: “I said so to integrate Nigeria 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 Hausas hardly pronounce Yoruba words correctly. They call me Emir when I am with them. Is there anything wrong in answering to such? Even the Hausas 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”.
He stated that his total conducts are tailored towards the promotion of Yoruba traits as laid by Oduduwa, the founding father of the Yoruba land.
“My dress is a respect to Yoruba. Yoruba heritage is the best worldwide. We are the hope of not only Nigeria but also the black race. Our conducts are undeniable. The corruption part of it is what I am checkmating”, the statement further quoted the Oba as saying.
Oba Akanbi was reported to have adopted the title by virtue of his status as an Islamic monarch of high repute in Yorubaland at the installation of Sheik Yahqub Abdul-Baaqi as the first Waziri of Yoruba land.