The ancient city of Iwo stood still on Monday as Prince Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, the new Oluwo of Iwo in Western Nigerian State of Osun was turbaned by the state Chairman of the League of Imams and Alfas,
Sheik Imran Adio.
Major streets in the city, witnessed heavy traffic jam when the Oluwo-elect, entered triumphantly into the town for the installation process. The entire town became agog as the convoy of the Oluwo snaked through Ori-eru, Odo-ori, Ile-Omosan and Oja-Oba axis of the city where people lined the streets to welcome the new Monarch.
The installation ceremony followed the approval of the appointment of the new monarch by the State Government after the completion of due process by the king makers.
The Oluwo-elect in an Open roof Lexus Sport Utility Vehicle raised his clutched fists to acknowledge cheers from the crowd after about three hours drive to get to the palace where he was later turbaned.
The turbaning ceremony was followed by the symbolic traditional decoration of the Monarch with “Akoko” leaves by the Oosa of Iwo Kingdom, Chief Bello Orobimpe.
Traditional gunshots rented the air by the traditionalists, heralding the reign of the new Oluwo of Iwo, thus signalling the completion of first phase of the Monarch traditional rights.
The occasion was further thrown into a frenzied mood with the emergence of Sokoti, Egun Oba (King’s masquerade) that is traditionally held in high esteem by the people of Iwo. His presence at the event was considered as a big honour for the new king.
Sokoti believed by many as the ‘father’ of the king blessed the new monarch just as it visited the graves of all past monarchs lined behind the palace.
Prince Jimoh Arefe of the same Molaasan Compound of the Gbaase Ruling House that produced Prince Abdul Rasheed confirmed this.
“Sokoti is highly referred. It only comes out on special occasion to honour the King. It is one of the few masquerades that can even cane the King with no recompense,” he said.
The Oluwo-elect after the turbaning was led by traditionalists and chiefs to the “Ile Onto” to continue further installation rites which will take three months before the symbolic crowning.
Speaking after the installation ceremony, Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti noted that the turbaning, which came up over two and a half years after the demise of the last monarch was a historic day in the annals of the ancient town.
”I salute the courage and understanding of all, this day is historic in the sense that Iwo in about three years ago was without a king, but we are happy that this day of a new king has come.
“We need the cooperation of all and sundry, I call on everybody to join hands with the new monarch in the task to build the town. Iwo cannot afford to stand still, we must strive as we enter a new era to develop our Land.
“I call on the people of Iwo, most especially youths to rally round the new monarch and the state government for the development of Iwoland, the state and the country at large,” the SSG emphasised.
Adeoti held that the recent ascension to thrones by many monarchs within the state without rancour or acrimony is another indication of the commitment of Gov. Rauf Aregbesola’s administration to promotion of communal peace and progress.
It would be recalls that Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi of Ile Ife also commenced the coronation rites two weeks ago following credible selection process that was devoid of government interference.
The people of Iwo could not hide their joy as they trouped out in their thousands, jettisoning all barriers, not minding the competition that preceded the selection, to witness the new King and wish him a prosperous reign.
A chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party and an erstwhile National Publicity Secretary to the defunct National Party of Nigeria in the Second Republic, High Chief Abiola Ogundokun, praised the personality of the new king and commended the process that produced the new Oluwo of Iwoland.
“Prince Abdul Rasheed Akanbi is a very responsible, respectful and cool headed young man whose reign promises to be highly successful.
I also commend the State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, his Secretary, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, equally an indigene of this town and their co-travellers in governance. They have done pretty well.
They have refused to interfere in the selection process and have been supportive in ensuring a credible process that throws up credible candidate.
They have also refused to be influenced by political considerations or succumb to threats by the privileged few. I must also commend the kingmakers who refused to pander to monetary incitements. We are all
A herbalist, Fatai Ariwogunde said all the herbalists in Iwo town are happy with the new monarch, describing him as a “blessed child whose emergence had been predicted.”
To Mallam Tijani Mukaila, also an indigene, the Oluwo-designate is an illustrious son of Iwoland, even as he promised the cooperation of all Muslims in the town.
Following the completion of the turbaning, the massive crowd cheerfully and enthusiastically led the new King to “Ile Onto” where other coronation rites would be concluded within the next three months via rigorous traditional induction and orientation exercises.
Dignitaries at the installation ceremony included, the Asiwaju of Iwoland and former Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Gbadegesin Adedeji, Former Commissioner for Agriculture, old Oyo state, Alhaji Bola Asafa, Octogenarian and Ekerin Oluwo, Otunba Ganiyu Aremu, Former Special Adviser to Gov. Aregbesola on Health, Dr. Rafiu Isamotu, among others.