The verbal war between Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, and traditional religious adherents in Osun State seems to have taken a twist, as the group, under the aegis of Traditional Religion Worshippers Association, TRAWSO, said the monarch’s effrontery against the gods would lead to his fall.
But the monarch insisted that his throne is beyond the control of any deity but subject to the control of only the Almighty God, adding that God makes and dethrones kings at will.
Oluwo’s crime against traditionalists
TRAWSO had insisted that Oluwo’s utterances amounted to sacrilege as the body met with the monarch to caution him over his ungirded utterances on religious issues and its consequences on the stool.
Chairman of TRAWSO, Dr Oluseyi Atanda, said: “Oba Akanbi has gone further to utter many unguarded statements against the traditionalists capable of inciting members of the public against the traditionalists which can lead to break down of law and order.
The supposed Oluwo was reported to have evicted the symbol of Ogun by removing the Ogun edifice from the Palace of Iwo, made several uncultured and degrading statements against the heritage of the stool as the 16th Oluwo Iwo with impunity. We as a group of peace-loving and tolerant religionists approached Oba Akanbi in 2018 to have discussions with him and appealed to him to watch his tongue and allow peace to reign.
“He appeared calm for a while, but later, began to display his penchant for violence and disturbances. Of recent, we were all aware of a recent viral video in a Church vigil where Oba Akanbi for no reason at all, desecrated the traditional institution by insulting Orisa, his forefathers and Orisa worshippers. Few days ago, he did another viral video accusing traditionalists to be responsible for the killings in the land and maiming of twins without any evidence to show for his assertion.
“We have watched enough, we have prayed enough for the restoration of this man back to his senses but unfortunately, he has demonstrated that no matter the attempts, a mad man would surely dance naked to the marketplace. This now becomes a matter for all and sundry to work assiduously to curb the excesses of Oba Akanbi,” he added.
The group also alleged that Oluwo is attempting to incite religious crisis through his various comments against traditionalists.
Threat to protest, demand Oluwo’s removal
While demanding that the state government compel Oluwo to apologise for his various sacrileges against the gods, TRAWSO threatened to embark on a million-man traditional religion worshippers’ march on the monarch’s palace and demand for his removal.
According to Atanda, Oluwo’s crown was a creation of Ifa’s OBARA OTURA corpus, and any monarch wearing such crown must respect and preserve the tradition of his ancestors or vacate the throne if he cannot honour their tradition.
He said: “No individual or Oba would publicly insult Christianity or Islam and hell will not be let loose within 24 hours, and the king would still parade himself about as a monarch.
The Deji of Akure beat his wife publicly; not that he attacked another Oba, and he was deposed. We have risen as a body to defend our constitutionally religious right and stop Oluwo from further committing sacrilege on the revered throne of Iwoland and the crown of Orisa bestowed on Iwo monarchs by the Ifa Obara Otura.
“We, therefore, request the state government to call Oba Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi to order and within 21 days; issue a public statement apologizing for his unguarded utterances against Orisa and desist from such acts capable of inciting religious fracas, and if he is uncomfortable wearing the crown of Orisa, he should leave the palace of Orisa. Otherwise, we in 21 days’ time, the 30th of November, 2021 would stage a one million OLORISA worshippers’ march onto Iwoland to protest and ask that Oluwo be removed and for government to stop the infiltration of persons in the land whose utterances are capable of destroying the relative peace we are enjoying in the state.
“We also seize this opportunity to appeal to government to always scrutinize and examine anybody to be installed as Oba with due traditional process as this would always ensure that peace reign supreme failing which we shall be faced with the consequences as we are witnessing today.
“No Oba would be picked through Ifa divination, embark on the seclusion of spiritual sanctity, reformation of character, lessons of conduct of an Oba and teachings of history of the land, and behave in such despicable manner.
“Let us go back to the good beginning, our Obas are institutions and not political appointees. Only those willing to accept the responsibility that comes with the glamour should be appointed after due traditional process,” he said.
Oba Akanbi, while reacting, said he does not want to join issues with the group, saying they are not an authority on traditional issues.
The monarch, however, said he did not attempt to incite religious crisis but was merely stating the obvious that God has placed a curse on idol worshipping and worshippers.
He said: “I would have preferred that an Oba challenged my position on idolatry, TRAWSO is just an association of persons of interest. I am merely defending the stool and our heritage, which has nothing to do with idols.
“ Only kings are greater than deities and idols. Deities can be likened to messengers, but kingship is of God Almighty and Olodumare is the God of all Yoruba. God Almighty is the real king that employs kings.
“I told Christians and Muslims to tell their kings that there is a curse of Olodumare on any king that worships deities. The curse or wrath of Olodumare on a king in any domain is also a curse on all the people in that town, city or village.
“Ifa is our old means of knowing things to come which Olodumare has ordained and Erindinlogun but it is not the one that chooses kings. God Almighty, Olodumare chooses whom He wants as king of a town, city or village. If Olodumare doesn’t choose you, Ifa cannot and will never see you as a king. Prophets of Christians and Muslim seers can see that too nowadays.”