By Yekeen Adio
No doubt, the Oluwo of Iwo is among the leading traditional rulers in Osun State because of the importance of Oluwo stool in Yoruba history.
Iwo is an ancient town in Osun State, Nigeria. It is the seat of the Iwo Kingdom, a traditional state.
The Iwo people, like all other people of Yoruba stock are said to have belonged to Ile-Ife from where they migrated sometimes in the 14th century. The earliest settlement initiated by Adekola Telu a prince from Ife. Adekola Telu was the son of the 16th Ooni of Ife a female called Luwo Gbagida. The town formerly part of Oyo state which was later separated and became one of the major townships in Osun State, Nigeria.
The stool of Oluwo has had 22 occupants including Late Oba Asiru Olatunbosun Tadese who joined his ancestors after reigning for almost 21 years.
On the evening of Monday, 18th February, 2013 when the news of the demise of the immediate past Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Asiru Olatunbosun Tadese, Ariwajoye 1 broke, many people in the ancient town of Iwo especially the indigenes were downcast because the reign of the late Oluwo, according to them witnessed remarkable developments, which includes the establishment of a tertiary institution by the Nigerian Baptist Convention, named Bowen University.
Immediately after late Oluwo’s burial there came an intense battle over who succeeds late Tadese as at least 10 princes from three of the five ruling houses eligible to ascend the throne of Oluwo threw their hats into the ring.
There was dispute among the princes over the number of families eligible to contest the stool in spite of the Osun State government pegging the number at five.
In the aftermath of legal tussle, the Gbaase Ruling House was agreed to be the next to produce the Oluwo. To this end, seven contestants emerged from Gbaase ruling house. After about two years of intense contest and selection processes of which left the people of the town waiting for the announcement of the next Oluwo.
On Monday, 9th of November, 2015, there was wild jubilation among indigenes and residents of Iwo land following the approval and announcement of the appointment of Prince ‘Rasheed Adewale Akanbi of the Gbaase ruling house of Iwo as the new Oluwo of Iwoland by the then Osun State Helmsman, Rauf Aregbesola.
On that same day, the ancient city of Iwo stood still, when the Oluwo-elect, Prince ‘Rasheed Adewale Akanbi entered triumphantly in to the town for the installation and turbanning processes, the ceremony that formally marks the beginning of the reign of the new monarch.
Few weeks after the installation and turbanning processes, a staff and instrument of office was presented to the New Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, Ilufemiloye Telu I, by the Osun State government amidst jubilations.
Immediately he was presented with a staff and instrument of office, the New Oluwo, having realized the age long saying, that “Neither the king that brings prosperity nor the one that brings destruction will escape the verdict of history” coupled with his natural desire to impact positively the lives of his people made him swung into action against poverty and marginalization of his town in the country by liaising with relevant government officials and wealthy people in order to facilitate and influence meaningful development projects to his domain.
It was unprecedented, as he began to play his roles with great enthusiasm and burning anger to make a different in his “empire”.
And within 52 months of his reign, listed below are “some” of the development projects and initiatives either initiated, facilitated, influenced or solely sponsored by the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Adewale Akanbi.
- Reconstruction of the Old Oluwo Palace into a state of the art magnificent complex.
- Procurement of Patrol vehicles and motorcycles for law enforcement agencies
- Establishment of Telu Food and Clothing Bank, the initiative which has been existing since 2016
- Repairing of the bad portions at Olodo, Ejioku and Iyana-Offa, along Iwo-Ibadan Road axis
- Repairing and Rehabilitation of Iwo-Osogbo Highway..
- Facilitating/Donating of Multimillion Naira Medical Equipments to General Hospital.
- Construction of first Nigeria Arc of Triumph monument, Iwo
8 Ten Young and outstanding entrepreneurs were empowered with 100k each
- Facilitating and Offering Scholarship to several indigenes and residents of Iwoland.
- Organizing of Oluwo Children Day celebration, the initiative which has been existing since 2016
- Approval and takeoff of Iwo City Polytechnic, Iwo.
- Approval and takeoff of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Iwo Study Centre.
- Approval and takeoff of Al Ummah College of Education, Iwo.
- Approval and takeoff of Royal College of Public Health and Technology, Iwo.
- Approval of Westland University, Iwo.
- Approval, reconstruction and takeoff of Police Area Command, Iwo.
- Approval and takeoff of Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC Unit Command, Iwo
- Approval of an Operational Zonal command of Nigeria Immigration Service, Iwo
- Approval of Federal College Of Education, Iwo.
…….to mention but a few
Leadership, they say is not in the ceremonial nomenclature, but the diligent accomplishments of the task one is saddled with.
It is evidential rather than rhetorical. Such qualities can only be found among people who are genuinely concerned and are passionate about the masses just the way Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi is showing as the Oluwo of Iwoland.
With the support of the people of Iwoland,there will be more inflow of meaningful development to the ancient city of Iwo during the reign of Ọba AbdulRasheed Adewale Akanbi Telu, the Oluwo of Iwoland.
Ẹgan o pe koyin madun!