The Oluwo of Iwo is among the leading traditional rulers in Osun State because of the importance of Oluwo stool in Yoruba history.
According to the hierarchy of traditional rulers in the Osun State Council of Obas, the Ooni of Ife is the Chairman of the council while the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland and Orangun of Ila are Deputy Chairmen. The Ataoja of Osogbo, Timi of Ede, Oluwo of Iwo and Ogiyan of Ejigbo are Vice Chairmen.
On the evening of Monday, 18th February, 2013 when the news of the demise of the immediate past Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Asiru Olatunbosun Tadese, Ariwajoye 1, broke, many people in the ancient town of Iwo especially the indigenes were downcast because the reign of the late Oluwo, according to them witnessed remarkable and tremendous achievements.
After late Oluwo’s burial the following day amid tributes and sobbing by relatives and indigenes, there came an intense battle over who succeeds late Tadese as at least 10 princes from three of the five ruling houses eligible to ascend the throne of Oluwo threw their hats into the ring.
There was dispute among the princes over the number of families eligible to contest the stool in spite of the Osun State government pegging the number at five.
Historically, Iwo had three ruling houses namely- Alausa, Adagunodo and Gbaase. But with the amended 1988 Chieftaincy Declaration, the number was increased to four with the carving out of Ogunmakinde Ande ruling house from Alausa ruling house. By this declaration, it was gathered that, the stool of Oluwo of Iwo was to be rotated among the four ruling houses in the following order-Adegunodo, Gbaase, Alausa and Ogunmakinde Akin.
OLUWO:Newly-installed Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, acknowledging cheers from the people of Iwo during his turbaning/installation at Oluwo palace, Iwo, Osun State, yesterday.
OLUWO:Newly-installed Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, acknowledging cheers from the people of Iwo during his turbaning/installation at Oluwo palace, Iwo, Osun State
But this declaration by the government did not go down well with three of the ruling houses namely- Gbaase, Alausa and Ogunmakinde Ande who headed to court to challenge the declaration, particularly the rotation order in the suit no: HIW110/210.
The four ruling houses were said to have met and resolved to settle out of court. Consequently, they resolved to abide by the 1988 amended chieftaincy declaration and use it for the selection process of the next Oluwo.
The Gbaase was agreed to be the next to produce the Oluwo. To this end, seven contestants emerged from Gbaase ruling house. After about two years of intense contest and selection processes of which left the people of the town waiting for the announcement of the next Oluwo.
The joy of of indigenes and residents of Iwo land knew no bounds on Monday, 9th of November following the approval of the appointment of Prince Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi of the Gbaase ruling house of Iwo as the new Oluwo of Iwoland by Governor Rauf Aregbesola.
The letter of appointment of the new monarch for Iwoland dated 9th of November, 2015 was signed by the Secretary to the state government, Alhaji Moshood Olalekan Adeoti.
Confirming the development, the Director of Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon said the appointment of Prince Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi as the new Oluwo followed due process after the completion of necessary procedures by the king-makers.
The new Oluwo, a Canadian based contractor is the Chief Executive Officer of Prince Global Nigeria Limited and a childhood friend of the new Ooni of Ife, Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi.
To show the happiness of the people of Iwo for the choice of the new monarch, the ancient city of Iwo stood still on Monday, 9th November, 2015 when the Oluwo-elect, Prince Abdul-rasheed Adewale Akanbi entered triumphantly in to the town for the installation and turbanning processes.
Major streets in the city, witnessed heavy traffic jam as the convoy of the Oluwo snaked through Ori-eru, Odo-ori, Ile-omosan and Ojaba axis of the city where people lined up the streets to welcome the new monarch.
The Oluwo in an open Lexus Sport Utility Vehicle raising his clutched fists to acknowledge cheers from people after about three hours drive to get to the palace was turbaned by League of Imam and Alfas led by sheikh Imran Adio. The turbanning ceremony was followed by the symbolic traditional decoration of the Monarch with “Akoko” leaf by the Oosa of Iwo Kingdom, Chief Bello Orobimpe.
Traditional gunshots rented the air by Iwo traditionalists heralding the reign of the new Oluwo of Iwo thus signalling the completion of the first phase of the monarch traditional rights.
The Oluwo after the turbanning ceremony was led by traditionalists and chiefs to the “Ile Onto” to continue further installation rites before the crowning of Prince Abdul-rasheed Adewale Akanbi.