The embattled Oluwo of Iwoland, Abdulrasheed Akanbi, has said that God is using those against his lifestyle (swag) to make him popular, insisting that he has the right as a king to bear the tag ’emir’ and other kingship titles in Nigeria.
The traditional leader recently attracted a backlash when reports emanated that he had decided to bear the tag of ’emir’ rather than the established title of ‘oba’.
The monarch flayed his critics while speaking on a radio programme on Rave FM in Osogbo on Tuesday. He said by his actions, he seeks to upgrade Yoruba culture.
“How can you abandon who you are? Can you abandon king for king? Oba is our own word. I am an Oba and I will remain Oba for life. I only said I can also be referred to as an Emir. I am the Emir of Yorubaland, I am the Igwe of Yorubaland and the Obi of Yorubaland. I can bear all titles of kings. We have to upgrade and update our traditional culture, else, we will go into extinction.”
Mr Akanbi said he has started a cultural revolution which makes him wear ’emir’ regalia sometimes. “The northern traditional rulers admired my Emir regalia whenever I put it on but (I am) not getting support from Yoruba Obas and people.
“By saying that I can also be addressed as emir, I talked metaphorically. But some ‘bad-belle’ (unpleasant mannered) people are condemning me and telling lies against me. My enemies are making me known. God is using my enemies to promote me. Some people don’t like the way I add swags. I can’t help them. I want to upgrade our culture. I promote ‘ofi’ dress and emirs love my dressing.”
The monarch has been criticised by different people and groups including Yoruba Youth Movement following his adoption of the emir title last weekend.