Egbe Omo Yoruba North America received the news of the shameful decision of Oba Rasheed Adewale Akanbi with tears of dismay. We could not believe that any Oba would descend this low to desecrate the traditional institution of Yoruba people.
We view the action of Oba Rasheed Adewale Akanbi as an affront, and rebellion against his forebears, especially with Adekola Telu, the son of the 16th Ooni of Ile-Ife who founded Iwo Kingdom in 14th century AD. As a traditional ruler who came from Telu lineage in Molaasan Royal Family, we thought Oba Akanbi should know better and seek to preserve history rather than destroy it.
The reckless decision of Oba Rasheed Adewale Akanbi to change the traditional title from Oba of Iwo Kingdom to an Emir negates the norms, values and ideals that propagate everything about the Yoruba traditional institution in the 12th century AD and now. This singular action is the beginning of the destruction of Yoruba traditional titles that might result in making our traditional Oba subservient to the authority of Emir of Sokoto (the Caliphate).
The title of Emir, according to its meaning in Arabic is “a title of various Muslim rulers”. It is important to note that we do not have any problem with any Emir in Nigeria. Notwithstanding, the title of Emir is a representation of leadership among Muslim, which in our opinion is a title that fits the leader of Islamic faith only. Oba on other hands is king in English language, and this is a representation of rulership in every Yoruba community from the time of Oduduwa in the 12th Century. Rasheed Adewale Akanbi should remember that he was not installed as a religious leader of Iwo Kingdom. He ascended the throne of his forebears, and his position in history is to be the ruler of every citizens of Iwo Kingdom.
The leadership and entire members of Egbe Omo Yoruba North America unequivocally reject the title of Emir for any Yoruba Oba whatsoever, and therefore condemn the decision of Oba Akanbi in proclaiming Emir as his current title. We are calling on all well-meaning sons and daughters of Iwo Kingdom, and entire Yoruba to denounce this ignoble act of rebellion.
We are especially appealing to the following sons of Iwo Kingdom to counsel Oba Akanbi to please rescind this unnecessary insult to the Yoruba people.
These individuals are Adebayo Bamidele Adedeji, a US based Social Advocate and Political Change Evangelist, Alhaji Kazeem Ademola Adio, Alhaji Liadi Tella, Mr. Taleat Abimbola, CEO Abolly Cosmetics Store, Adisa Kabiru Adeniyi Kulukulu – a Fellow of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, and Barrister Gbadegesin Adedeji.
Yoruba must not be dragged to shame, and must not be lost in the crowd, we need to come together and stand out in the crowd of concoction that our leaders have made Nigeria (Yoruba) become.
Signed Agba Akin (Dr.) Durojaiye Akindutire, National President EOYNA
Hon. Aderemi Samuel, National General Secretary EOYNA