Oba Abudulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, the Oluwo of Iwo land (Osun state) wants to be addressed as an Emir henceforth.
This move is somewhat absurd because traditional leaders are referred to as Oba or Kabiyesi in Yoruba land and not Emir. Oba Adewale made this announcement at the installation and turbarning ceremony of an Islamic scholar, Sheikh Yahquub Abdul-Baaqi Mohammed as first Waziri of Yoruba land. He said he decided to now bear “Emir of Iwoland” because he wants to emulate the attitude of northern Emirs because they are well behaved.
“I have decided to officially adopt Emir title today because I want to emulate the attitudes of Northern Emirs. They don’t begrudge themselves like Yoruba Obas. It will surprise you to discover that for the past two years, there has not been meeting of Yoruba traditional rulers just because of enmities. There is nothing strange in adopting Emir title. I am the Emir of Yorubaland”.
Installing the Waziri was disapproved by the League of Imams and Alfas in Southwest Nigeria, Edo and Delta States. According to the President of the group, Sheikh Jamiu Kewulere Bello, this is not right in any way. Responding to this, Oba Adewale said;
“Iwo has a unique and distinctive traditional history among the entire Yoruba race. And these peculiarities have made Iwo to be at the forefront in Yoruba land. The occasion of the installation of Waziri Yorubaland is another great opportunity to create the necessary awareness and promote to the entire world the deep Islamic culture and heritage in Iwo. Waziri did not come from Northern part of Hausa tribe but from God. So, there is nothing strange in installing Waziri. Yoruba has forgotten their history. Whoever is criticising me lacks history of Yorubaland”.
Oba Akanbi is generally known for his boldness, outspokenness and especially for his controversial acts. Besides him getting married to a foreigner, the Oba doesn’t see anything wrong in him wearing a suit while seated on the prestigious throne.
The emir title is only used to address Hausa traditional leaders.