When the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi came on the throne about 2years ago, one of those close to him then was Oba Adewale Akanbi, the Oluwo of Iwo land. He became the Oluwo a few months after the Ooni. At that time, the Ooni and the Oluwo were very, very close. Oba Saheed Elegunshi, a Lagos Oba, also used to attend events with them at that time. The 3 of them were always very colourful when ever they stormed events in their paraphenalia until the Oluwo who is the older of the 3 stopped attending events with the others. Many had wondered what happened between the Oluwo and Ooni especially but no one could figure out what the problem was. The Oluwo kept mum. So also the Ooni.
The good news is that the rift is over. The Oluwo broke the ice when he stormed the meeting of the Osun State Traditional Rulers Council Meeting at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi a few weeks back. Oluwo had never attended the meeting since he ascended the throne almost the same time as the Ooni in 2015.
It was gathered that some Obas had, during the last meeting held on July 4, 2017, raised the issue of the Oluwo and they resolved to go to Iwo to prevail on him to attend this meeting. The Olojuo of Ido Osun, Oba Aderemi Adedapo, who is the Secretary to the Council of Obas and about 40 other traditional rulers were in attendance.
The Ooni of Ife, who arrived at the venue of the meeting last, went round and greeted all the traditional rulers one after the other. All the traditional rulers stood up to acknowledge his greetings. The Ooni, who presided over the meeting, prayed for the monarchs and the towns each of them presides over. Oba Ogunwusi said, “It has been long since we held this meeting. The meeting is usually held on a monthly basis.
This is not the time to point accusing finger at anybody. “The Timi (of Ede) came to me and told me that he would not be here because he was traveling out and that he had scheduled the trip before the meeting was called. So also is the Orangun of Ila. “I greet the Oluwo specially. Like I always say, all of you left here. I am the caretaker here. Unity and the development of our state is very important. “Some traditional rulers have departed the world since our last meeting. We should portray ourselves the way we should. We should carry ourselves with dignity and royalty. We should unite and stand as one. Our meeting is about how to bring about development to our state and the nation.”
“I greet the Oluwo special, especially being his first time of coming here. Nobody is asking you not to come here. This is your house.” With this, the lingering conflict between the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, was laid to rest.
The Ooni, who is the Chairman of the council, in his remarks, declared that he had no quarrel with the Oluwo, who had not hidden his displeasure at the treatment allegedly meted out to him by the Ooni at public functions.
Oba Akanbi had once told an online medium in an interview that the Ife monarch masterminded the ‘shove’ he received from one of his aides at a function of traditional rulers in Port Harcourt some time ago. He had also complained of the disunity in the traditional structure in South-West, which he said led to the failure of the traditional council to hold its meetings in the last two years.
According to him, since he became a monarch, the council meeting was never held due to the disenchantments and divisive tendencies among traditional rulers in the state. The Oluwo then remarked that peace and harmonious relationship among traditional rulers were necessary to engender cohesion, unity and healthy growth of not only Osun State but also the entire country.
Meanwhile, the Oluwo has been appointed to chair a 9-man Welfare Committee constituted by the council.
The committee is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring adequate welfare for the monarchs.
Some of the monarchs at the meeting include, the Olojudo of Ido-Osun, Aderemi Adedapo; Elerinmo of Erinmo, Michael Ajayi; Alaagba of Aagba, Rufus Ogunwole; Owamiran of Esa Oke, Olunisa of Inisa, Olufon of Ifon, Oloba of Oba-Ile, Alie of Ilie, Owamiran of Esa Oke, Olororuwo of Ororuwo, Ademula of Ifewara, Oluresi of Iresi, Aragberi of Iragberi, among others.
Not many know that both the Ooni and the Oluwo used to be very close when they were much younger.
The Oluwo grew up with the Ogunwusi family in Ibadan.
A few months back, when City People asked the Oluwo to take us back to his growing up years with the Ooni, he smiled. He was reluctant. “The life of a king is different, from the life of Adewale Akanbi, he replied “I have moved on. God has prepared me for this role because he made me go through a lot in life to prepare me for kingship. He made me travel round the whole world and in Africa, I have been to so many countries, I know about so many cultures.”
“Growing up, I was very independent. God made me go through thick and thin. I went through a war. I was caught up in the Liberian war in 1989. When it first started, it started 24th December 1989, when it first started. It started 24th December 1989. From Nigeria, my brother went for business. We thank God.
So, you can see what I mean when I say I have been to the death point and back. That is why things don’t scare me. For you to say something that will scare me or you want to do something to scare me, you have to get to the point I have been to. You have to pass through what I passed through. Then, I will say you are a man. As a 50 year old man, I have passed through a lot. What I have passed through in life, a 400 year old man has not passed through it.”
When he looks back, how does he feel?
“When I look back I just say wow! So God was preparing me for greater heights. I have been to many countries. I have lived there. God actually prepared me for this position. I believe now.
Because Kabiyeesi didn’t answer the original question, we asked again.
Kabiyeesi let us go back to you and the Ogunwusi family. Is it true Kabiyeesi Ooni and his brothers all grew up with you in Ibadan? Tell us the story…
(Breaks into laughter). Why do you keep asking this question about Ooni and I? We are talking about my life now, not Ooni’s life. We’ve all moved on. I have made my name. I have a life and I believe in the future that is sure. He has also made his own name. So we should not be going back to start talking about how we grew up or not grow up. I don’t need to stand on anybody’s back to become successful. Oluwo is a household name now. And we thank God for that. We give Glory To God. Why are you not asking me about other people, other families or others kings?
Its because of the significance of two people who grew up together becoming kings in their later years, he was told. Can you take us back.?
“Now you’ve won. All I can say is that all these is just part of growing up. We can’t dig into that. Let me just say, yes we knew each other way back. Yeah. He is younger than me though.
I am 8 years older than him But we give glory to God.
What was the relationship like then? Did they play pranks together? Is it true he was closer to his brother, Tunji? Tell us the closeness of the Akanbi and Ogunwusi family.
Oh, yes! But I like to talk more about my life. I want people to learn from my own life, my own experience. In 1981, something happened and I had to leave Iwo. I left home and I was lost for 4 months. I was captured 2 times by Ritualists and both of them rejected me.
The 2nd one said let him go ooo. He is an Oba ooo. He is a king. Lets leave it at that.
All I will say is that, I am from Iwo. I grew up in Iwo. The last time I left Iwo was 1981.
I only came back in 1984. I came around and helped my dad and I left again. I came for secondary school in Iwo. I was in Class 2 going to Form 3 at that time. That incident happened and I left when I got lost and after 4 months I was found. The man who owns that building, out there, where Wema Bank is located was the one that found me at a petrol station in Lawanson. When I came back, my mother said you are not going back to Iwo again.
That was how I ended up with my uncle. It is not only in Akobo, Bashorun area of Ibadan that me and Oonis family lived together. We started from the area called Holy Trinity, Seventh Day Adventist area. At that time, we were living side by side, by Senator Soji Akanbi’s family house at Holy Trinity.
He was just a big boy then, who just came back from England. He didn’t want to talk to anybody. He would put his hands in his pocket and put his head up high in the air. He is the son of Alhaji M. Akanbi. He knows me well.
So, we have been close all that time, but the family didn’t know each other at that time. But when I moved to my uncle’s place in Akobo, they were living just the street across. That was when we started knowing each other. We and Tunji played soccer together. Do you know Tunji Ogunwusi? The Primewater view, Real Estate company owner?.
He was at St. Patrick’s Grammar School. Me, I was at Oba Akinyele Memorial High School. Its almost a fence dividing us, just a few houses away. We used to go to school together and we came back home together.
We used to go to parties, all those kiddies parties, all those disco parties. It was great. Tunji was a very good soccer player. He played good soccer.
I don’t know if he still plays soccer now. He, myself and others, we always made up a team to play in Akobo at that time. There was a primary school in Akobo at that time, and we always made a team. We used to go to school together. Its just on that road, straight road from Akobo.
It was great growing up during that time. I was living with my Uncle called (Uncle Onifade) Alhaji Raimi Onifade, he is a younger brother to my mum. That’s where I lived. That is where we got to know. We thank God that we are all great people today. At least we’ve made an impact in Yorubaland.
One thing I want people to know is that the new dispensation of what kingship is all about is here and we thank God for it. And my own message to kings is for us to be servants. Its not about money. Its not about gathering money. There are many rich kings that have gone and they are no more. We don’t remember them. I am talking about many great kings with money. Money doesn’t make great kings. Money doesn’t make you great. Its only for a while.