…As he presents him Staff of Office
The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has charged the new Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi on the need to jettison self-aggradisement, primitive and insatiable appetite for wealth accumulation and as well explore his coveted position to entrench unity among yorubas as he begins to pilot the affairs of the ancient town.
Governor Aregbesola admonished the new monarch to lead by example and explore every opportunity and privilege at his disposal to bring in all round development.
Governor Aregbesola gave the admonition while presenting the Staff of Office and Instrument of Appointment to the newly installed Oluwo of Iwoland at the coronation ceremony in the ancient town.
The ancient town was however stood still for hours as the sons and daughters of the town enthusiastically trooped out en masse and besieged the venue where the coronation took place.
Addressing the residents of the town, Governor Aregbesola who titled his speech “A new dawn in Iwoland” commended the people of the town especially the kingmakers and the princes of all the ruling houses for embracing peace, unity and cohesion before, during and after the installation of their new monarch.
Aregbesola who implored the new traditional ruler to see monarchy and kingship as a thing that naturally comes from God with certain privileges, saying a good monarch must rule with the fear of God, wisdom and as well convert privileges to resources of governance.
He enjoined the monarch to avoid the pitfall of turning privileges into avenues for self-aggradizement, adding that a good monarch must also be a unifying person and must never constitute a divisive agent.
Governor Aregbesola advocated for peace and unity among yorubas, saying the time has come for all the yoruba traditional rulers to extend love and compassion to one another and as well promote the peaceful co-habitation among the yorubas home and abroad.
He said, “The coming of His Royal Highness, Oba Akanbi, is at a time of renewed drive at Yoruba unity, solidarity and development.
“This has become a strong rallying cry since the enthronement of the Ooni of Ife, more than a month ago. It is my sincere wish that you take a front seat on this train.
“Occupying a position of leadership is God-ordained and carries a great responsibility with it. People look up to the leader for direction, protection and sustenance.
“You must provide these for them. More importantly, you must lead by example. Leadership naturally comes with certain privileges, but a good leader must convert privileges to resources of governance.
“You must therefore avoid the pitfall of turning privileges into avenues for self-aggrandisement and primitive accumulation.
“You must rule with wisdom and fear of God. The people over whom you preside are diverse politically, ideologically, temperamentally, socially and by moral disposition.
“Not all of them will readily agree with you and many of them will say or do things you will consider abhorrent. But they are all your subjects and you are required to preside over them with tact and wisdom in a way that will enable you to get the best out of them.
“A leader must also be a unifying person and must never constitute a divisive agent. There are two kings whose reign the Yoruba never forget. These are the king whose reign is peaceful and the one whose reign is characterized by turmoil and scattering. May your reign be peaceful and usher in prosperity for the people in the realm.
Governor Aregbesola who approved the appointment of Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi as the Oluwo of Iwo on Monday 9th November, 2015, said the stool would have even been filled earlier but for the plethora of court cases on it his administration had to allow the rule to take its normal course.
He stressed further, “it is our believe that closure has been brought to the contest for this stool by the distinguished and honourable princes of Iwo as we have felt the wind of peace and unity with the hope that everyone had allowed the peace to reign.
“Iwo is fortunate to have Oba Akanbi as king. He is young, well-educated and cosmopolitan. He brings with him to the throne a wealth of experience from his many travels and exposure to the world as he had lived in developed and well organised societies in Europe and North America and no doubt will lead Iwo on the path of accelerated development.
“Oba Akanbi will be occupying the throne of a city that has a rich history behind it.
“I congratulate Oba Akanbi and the people of Iwo for a new dawn in this town and environ. It is our collective prayer that the Almighty will grant him long life and his tenure will usher Iwo into renewed wealth, prosperity, multiplication, good health and peace.
Governor Aregbesola used the avenue of the occasion to implore the people of the state to support his administration through prompt tax payment, adding that the primary way a people demonstrate loyalty to the state is by supporting it through payment of tax.
Aregbesola said the era of gigantic revenues from the Federation Accounts has gone, thus calls for the need for all and sundry to rise towards rescuing themselves from the adverse effects of the current economic situation.
The Governor said in view of achieving desired goals and objectives, traditional rulers must be a ready-hands in mobilize the people to participate in their own development by taking every advantage of opportunities that will come from time to time and to support the government by obeying the laws of the land and prompt payment of taxes.
According to him, “Taxation is the heartbeat of any government. The primary way a people demonstrate loyalty to the state is by supporting it through payment of tax.
“Therefore, cardinal objective of our administration is to bring accelerated development to our communities, but to achieve this, the traditional rulers are in a good position to mobilize the people to participate in their own development by taking every advantage of opportunities that will come from time to time and to support the government by obeying the laws of the land and prompt payment of taxes.
“Though we have neglected this in the past largely because we were getting free money from the Federation Account.
“With the precipitous fall in oil price, an end has come to this and by necessity, we must earn our own money, if we must tide over this special and challenging time.
Aregbesola therefore called on the residents especially the youths to be more productive and showcase interest by participating massively in farming, saying agriculture remains the only alternative, sustainable and imperishable means of living.
“Every able-bodied person, most importantly the youths and school leavers, must be productively engaged, especially in farming.
“Our administration is rolling out a new programme with huge incentives for all interested persons to participate in farming, in a way that will make them rich and yield huge revenues to the government”, Aregbesola said.
In his address, the Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Wale Babalakin commended the people of Iwo for allowing peace to reign before, during and after the installation of the new monarch.
Dr. Wale Babalakin who also lauded Governor Aregbesola for climbing the ladder of progress in the discharge of his constitutional responsibilities in the state, said the state government’s resolve in choosing Oba Akanbi is a round peg in the round hole.
According to him, Osun is a state being blessed with very notable big cities, though it is great asset but also a great challenge on the state government, traditional rulers and other authorities to utilize their population, strength, wealth, diversity, intellectual capacity at their disposal for the betterment of all.
“I congratulate the people of Iwo for cooperating extensively in installing a new king without any sense of rancour.
“The sons and daughters of this town have chosen their monarch in a very matured way and by extension an excellent, educated, well exposed, illustrious, industrious as a new king.
“There will be challenges before you, but with your resolution and commitment, you shall overcome while this coronation will equally mark the beginning of a great resolution.
“As our king start to pilot the affairs of your native town, God will turn your troubled roads to stopping stones for the attainment of greater heights”, Dr. Babalakin stated.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Secretary, Iwo Local Government, Hon. Kamorudeen Olabisi Alao urged the residents of the ancient town to cooperate with the new monarch in order to facilitate rapid socio-economic and infrastructural development of the town.
Hon. Alao who described the occasion as auspicious, momentous and much awaited extolled Governor Aregbesola for his high sense of mediation, wise intervention and prompt leadership action towards traditional institution which resulted to what he called speedy manner in which the candidacy of Prince Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi was approved as the new Oluwo of Iwoland by the state government.
He commended the people of the state on their high sense of maturity being exhibited during the selection process of the new traditional ruler, saying their peaceful conduct and sense of unity would be forever acknowledged.
He said, “the people of Iwo especially princes of the ruling houses have really accorded us wonderful and unprecedented cooperation and this had resulted to seamless selection process.
“Though the contest for the vacant stool was full of many anxious moments for our administration but mercifully, at our behest, all the ruling houses decided to bury their hatchets in order for peace and progress to reign supreme.
In his goodwill message, the Asiwaju of Iwoland, Barrister Adedeji Gbadegesin commended Governor Aregbesola for his timely approval of the appointment of the new Oluwo, saying his noble action has rescued the town from unnecessary protracted royal interregnum.
“I commend our Governor for liberating us out of the royal bondage that would have tormented us for years. The timely approval of the appointment of the new Oluwo of Iwoland, thus saving our people the trauma of having to wait for years as was the case in the past.
He lamented over what he regarded as backwardness in the town, saying Iwo has witnessed a gradual but remarkable slow-down in its march to greatness in the last one hundred years in spite the fact that Iwoland has an enviable record of loyalty and commitment to progressive causes.
He said, “It is in our character in Iwo to always partner with all lawful authorities and progressive causes but it is unfortunate that the town is nearly forgot in the area of development.
“To this regard, the glaring mismatch or disconnect between our loyalty and commitment and the rewards is overdue for reappraisal and redress.
Barrister Gbadegesin therefore advocated for more cooperation with the current governments at local, state and federal for all round development, progress and transformation.
He called on the indigenes of the town to rally round the new monarch for general success, saying no community ever achieves its potentials with the level of division, bile and acrimony.
Barrister Gbadegesin implored the new monarch to see his ascendancy as a challenge to turn around the town for the betterment of all.
“This is the time for all and sundry to demonstrate our unflinching supports, cooperation and love to our new monarch as unity will stand and divided will for.
“To our brand new monarch, your ascent to the throne of your forefathers is a period of challenges and great expectation among our people.
“With love and cooperation in all fronts we hope and pray that your reign will bring the best and brightest of all things positive, peace, prosperity, life more abundant as we fervently believed that your rein would in no doubt go a long way to bring the desired transformation not only to Iwoland but to the State of Osun and Nigeria at large.
In their separate remarks, the President of Iwo Board of Trustees, Otunba Abdulganiy Adebayo Aremu, President of Nigerian Association of Young/Adult in Canada, commended Governor Aregbesola for choosing the right person for the town.
The duo expressed confidence in the new king that his reign will bring the desired peace, unity, peace, security, prosperity and joy which the town has been yearning for over the years.
They charged the new monarch to use the advantage of his position to bringing- in to the town the foreign investors, captain of industries, business men and women, traders, manufacturers among others for sustainable growth and development.
In his congratulatory message, the new Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi expressed profound gratitude to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Government and people of Osun especially the Iwo Kingmakers for giving him the opportunity to steer the affairs of the ancient town.
The new Oluwo who advocated for the promotion of local products and commodities said his coming to the throne of his forefathers will leave no stone unturned to ensure total reawakening and promotion of local products.
Oba Akanbi who promised to take Iwo to a height never known in history said one of his plans to achieve immense successes would be a greater focus on the promotion of local goods especially the farm produce as the nation is traversing to agriculture.
He said it is misnomer and uncalled for, a situation where a country deems fit to import what it could produce, saying any act of ignoring local products leads to unnecessary inflation which according to him has been the case in Nigeria.
Oba Akanbi further advocated for the official utilization of Adire fabric (batik attire) as school uniforms, police uniforms, soldiers uniforms among others, saying if this is being promoted locally, Nigerian Textile would in no doubt earn huge revenues as this would also be encouraged and exported.
“My advocacy for the return to our roots, is a rationale to the urgent need of improving our economy, social and political well being of our people.
“I am bent to take Iwo to a height never known in history by exploring all our given potentials for the upliftment and betterment of all.
“I will serve my people on the path of righteousness and place Iwo among the community of great cities in the world.
“My dogged pursue of the economic liberation of our people will premise on the massive utilization of our local materials for greater production that will encourage massive exportation.
“I will encourage the use of batik (Adire attire) to promote our culture, values and traditions as yoruba race and as well translate into our economic benefits and advantage.
“I will not stop until this is realizable and the government adopts the use of batik fabric as school uniforms and security uniforms as this will create employment opportunity and wealth generation”, Oluwo stated.
Oba Akanbi therefore canvassed for support from all and sundry especially his co-contenders, saying his palace will be always opened for beautiful ideas, brainstorming and deliberation.
He equally called on the people in the town to support the current government by paying their taxes regularly.