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Oba Akanbi: The Crash of a ‘Swagger’ King

By Eric Elezuo

The six months suspension handed to the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, on Friday by the Osun State Council of Traditional Rulers did not come to many as a surprise. To a whole lot, he sure deserves it. This is because, according to reports, the Oluwo has remained in the frontline mostly for the wrong reasons, courting troubles with other royalties through utterances, and in most cases by physical violence.The council was chaired by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi.

Oba Akanbi’s latest misdemeanor that earned him a suspension while investigation is ongoing bordered on his altercation with Agbowu of Ogbagba, Dhikrulahi Akinropo, over a disagreement during a meeting convened by the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Zone 11, to resolve a prolonged land dispute among the monarchs in the Osun west senatorial district. The altercation resulted in alleged unleashing of punches against the fellow monarch.

Akanbi however, claimed he was disrespected, and had to react.

In a statement after the incident, Akanbi defended his action, accusing Akinropo of attempting to stick his staff of office into his eyes.

“At the peace meeting held at AIG office, Agbowu of Ogbaagbaa interrupted me while I was making my speech; he started calling me unprintable names, pointing his staff of office at me while attempting to stick the staff in my eyes; I heavily rejected it with a force which the Agbowu could not withstand,” he said.

“How could a constable openly insult commissioner of police and make an attempt to beat the CP? Can any monarch try such with Ooni, Alaafin?

“He went far as attempting to turn Oluwo to a blind man by pointing his staff of office to my eyes. All affected monarchs in my kingdom should note no one will feed on his subjects land and go away with it.”

However, those who were at the meeting contradicted the Oluwo’s statement, saying he attacked the monarch and rained blows on him to the extent he ended up in the hospital.

Earlier before the incident that led to the fracas at the police station, Oba Akanbi was also said to have had a running battle with Oluwo Oke, whose mall he allegedly vandalised with a group of thugs. Though he denied involvement, he accused the Oluwo Oke of not respecting him.

“Oluwo Oke was rude to me in Ife. We were at a function and some of the Obas present asked him to greet his father (me) but he became angry. They told him that Oluwo was his father, being the paramount ruler in Iwoland,” he had said.

Akanbi was reported to have been deported from the United States as a result of crime, and is not permitted to enter Canada for the same reason.

Again, he is said to have constantly disrespected stools of Alaafin of Oyo, Alake of Egbaland and Ooni of Ife. The young king once proclaimed that Iwo will produce the Ooni as well as the Oluibadan as their origins are traced to his kingdom.

While he remains in suspension, a constituted committee headed by Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Adedotun, is at work further investigating the matter involving Oluwo and Obas in Iwo land.

But in a swift reaction, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, took to his Instagram page to proclaim that he remains the Oluwo of Iwoland despite his suspension by the Osun State Council of Traditional Rulers.

In the post, Oluwo attached a video, showing him partying and dancing to a song that states that he was not pained by “abuses”.

The post read, “He was never suspended as Oluwo of Iwoland. The Osun State Traditional Council has only recommended his suspension from the council meetings and activities for six months on the guise that his conduct (being too flashy, stylish, human rights defender and swagging); and that (the suspension) is even subject to Governor’s approval. This clarification is important for the public notice!”

With the suspension, Oba Akanbi is expected to lay low in remorse and humility, but that definitely does not seem to be the case. It is hope that the Council does not go further to invoke more punitive measures to curtail the Oba’s violent ways of handling situations.


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