• News - South West - Ogun
  • Updated: June 19, 2023

Ogun Monarch Slams Oluwo Over Claim Governors ‘Appoint’ Yoruba Obas

Ogun Monarch Slams Oluwo Over Claim Governors ‘Appoint’

The Eselu of Iselu in Yewa North local government area of Ogun State, Oba Akintunde Akinyemi has stated that he is averse to the claim that Yoruba kings are not selected by the Ifa oracle.

His action is as a result of a comment credited to the Oluwo of Iwo in Osun State, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, that governors are the ones picking Obas in Yorubaland.

The Oluwo had in an interview with a national daily, claimed that Ifa, the Yoruba Oracle, has no role to play in the selection of an Oba these days like it used to happen in the olden days.

In the interview, Oluwo was asked to speak on whether he was picked by the Ifa above 40 other contestants.

“Tell me one king that Ifa picked in Yoruba land.

"The person who is picked by the governor is the one God has ordained to be the king.

"There is no Oba in Yoruba land that will say Ifa picked him. It is after the governor picked you that you now become a king.

"Ifa doesn’t have any power over the governor. Even during our forefathers, they would make the most powerful person at that time king," Oba Akanbi had replied.

Oba Akanbi, who was installed as Oluwo about eight years ago under the Rauf Aregbesola administration, said he met the governor overnight and became king at daybreak.

“I didn’t even meet the governor until the eve of the day I would be announced as the king.

"I met him at 1am and that was all,” he said.

Oba Akinyenmi urged the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the Osun State Traditional Council to stop the Oluwo from speaking ill of Yoruba culture and traditions.

Eselu said his reaction to Oluwo became necessary in order to erase the impression that a governor could just wake up one day and name whoever he likes as the Oba.

“The Oluwo, being an experienced traditional ruler, should know better that you don’t just utter a statement.

"Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have reacted to it, but the primary readers of the publication will look at it as if there’s no tradition in Yoruba land.

"Yoruba land is very rich in culture, and we spread across most of these zones, including Edo, Benin, Delta, Kogi and the rest of these powerful royal dynasties in Nigeria.

“How can Oluwo say that a governor will just pick an Oba? A recognized stool in Yoruba land will go through the process of Ifa.

"From the family to the community, where you have the kingmakers, then the kingmakers will also consult Ifa.

"After, they invite the government, from the local government to the state.

"From there, the state will process it, move it to the last stage, which is the Exco.

"Then, the governor will append his signature for approval.

“It is not that the governor would just wake up one day and say I want to make the Party Chairman the king of Egbaland, and that person will be a king.

"That’s what he is saying; that’s not our culture! That’s not what we represent as Yoruba people; we go through all the processes.

"In clear terms, governors don’t pick kings, governors approve kings. Maybe Oluwo should be tutored,” Eselu stated.

While telling Oluwo not to erase Yoruba tradition in the name of religion, Eselu maintained that there are traditions in India, Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem, Britain and others.

“I remember vividly that, recently, I was in Glasgow and when they wanted to do the coronation of King Charles, they went to Edinburgh in Scotland to pick the Destiny Stone.

"They took the Destiny Stone from Edinburgh back to the UK as part of the tradition to coronate the king.

"That’s their tradition. So Oluwo can’t just wake up and start saying ‘jargons’ about our tradition in Yorubaland.

“Maybe Oluwo does not know tradition, or maybe he sees himself as too big above the community.

"You can never be bigger than the community. The community will see the end of any Oba in the world,” the monarch stressed.

Oba Akinyemi noted that Iwo is one of the reputable towns in Yorubaland and that he expected the Oluwo to know better than some of the kings as a senior traditional ruler, stressing that Oba Akanbi shouldn’t be talking as if he doesn’t know what he’s saying.

The Ogun monarch cautioned Oluwo not to set the people against the governors, adding that his comment was an embarrassment to the entire Yoruba race and he should be corrected by the Osun State traditional institution.

“With due respect, the Ooni of Ife is in the right position to call Oluwo to order. You call him and tell him, ‘You are spreading a wrong impression about us to the rest of the world, that it is our governors who wake up in the morning and just pick somebody as king. That means you’re even saying the Ooni did not go through tradition.'

“I’m telling Oluwo categorically that the governors only approve, the governors don’t pick a king in Yoruba land, and he should get that into his head.

"Obas go through all the traditional processes and Ifa plays a major role in picking a recognized Oba in Yoruba land. Maybe he doesn’t know.

“I am a Christian, some of Obas are Muslims, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know that there is tradition.

"There is tradition, even in England; there is tradition in China.

"So, we can’t erase the fact that we have our tradition, and we should not subject it to ridicule.

“Oluwo should just calm down and get down from his horse and know that there’s tradition in Yorubaland. Don’t make nonsense of our tradition,” Eselu emphasised.

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