Sons and daughters of Awuje, Sajiand Olota in Osun State were ecstatic on Sunday, April 29, 2017 when their respective traditional rulers were elevated from lower rank of community heads to beaded kings.
The new kings were the Alawuje of Awuje, Oba Oladosu Ajagbe Akinlawo, 87; the Onisaji of Saji, Oba Alade Akinade,70 and Olu of Olota, Oba Adetunji Ipadeola Akano, 70.
The three communities are agrarian settlements, which are also blessed with some natural resources rich to contribute to national commonwealth. The race to the promotion commenced months back after communities expressed their intention to move up the ladder occupied by towns ruled by beaded crown kings.
The Oluwo as the consenting authority looked into the merit of the matter and came up with the final decision leading to the coronation. As early as nine in the morning, indigenes of the three towns were gathering under the canopies erected in front of the old palace.
Clad in different fabrics including Ankara, lace and others, their look of excitement was conspicuous as they looked forward to the epoch-making occasion. Although the coronation was billed for eleven in the morning, it did not take off until past two.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the Oluwo had earlier in the morning played a host to a delegation from Egypt which had visited him to talk on Iwo and further propagation of Islam and the benefits therein for the two.
Soon after the Egyptians and their Nigerian partners were through and seen off the palace premises, the Oluwo-in-council, a group of traditional rulers, entered the palace living room where the Oluwo presided over a meeting during which the current development in the town was discussed and ratified.
No sooner had the traditional chiefs left and joined the crowd at the coronation venue than the Oluwo also rose to the venue. His arrival simply electrified the atmosphere. The gate of the palace was widely open as more people rushed into the palace to witness the coronation.
In a contrast to his usual Ofiagbada, the Oluwo was dressed in a green voile lace with a crown to match. His arrival was signaled by heavy drumming by the palace entertainers-a band of talented young drummers-who sang the praise of the monarch with a variety of numbers, all of which were asserting his authority over the entire Iwo kingdom.
The Oluwo, on his seat, would occasionally respond to the beat with his head and some artificial smiles, depicting his mood to demonstrate his authority over the affairs of his town.
The Chief Imam of Iwoland kick started the event with what is known as opening prayer which was rounded off with a thunderous Amin!!!!. That was followed by the people of the three towns paying homage to the Oluwo, one after the other.
Shortly before Oba Akanbi performed the coronation, he had delivered his usual extemporal address in which he extensively dwelt on how he decided to elevate the three new traditional rulers with beaded crowns. He said the development was manifestation of the destinies of the recipient, pointing out that God only used him as the tool to deliver his message to them.
The Oluwo maintained that traditional rulers were representatives of God on the earth and urged his fellow monarchs to act and react to issues strictly on the understanding of the belief. Amidst intermittent ovation by the crowd, the Oluwo wore the garb of a spiritual teacher with his references to Quran and Bible on the obligations of traditional rulers to their subjects, which, according to him, included promotion of justice and fairness and welfare of the people.
Failure to adhere with the duties, he said, had exposed traditional institution to ridicule before their subjects and government, both of which were expected to hold them in high esteem. Regrettably, the Oluwo lamented the turn of things but expressed optimism in seeing a change in the trend and the situation salvaged.
Facing the three new monarchs, Oluwo charged them to administer their respective towns with fear of God with a view to earning more blessings for themselves. He said no traditional ruler should equate himself with God by exercising life-and-death power over his subjects and appropriating property of his subjects, adding such attitude would pit the traditional ruler against God and also turn his subjects against him.
He, therefore, warned them to be upright, transparent and a father figure to all families in their domain, educating them that the position is all about service to their people.
Oba Akanbi told the new monarchs that like God who serves his creatures right from the beginning of the world, their position was to serve their people and not vice versa. A traditional ruler, he stressed, must earn the respect of his people by serving them diligently, taking the lead in matters concerning the town, not being partisan on issues brought before him as arbiter and always being there for them, come rain, come shine.
“I want you to return to your respective town and replicate what I do here. And expect good result I get here on daily basis. You have nothing to fear when you are always seen on the side of your people. No individual can rise and question your authority when you do what is right. This is my strong point. This is my strength. This is what drives me and makes me whom I am today. I am again charging you to be good representatives of God to your people,” he stated.
The Oluwo’sfinal words were greeted with louder ovation and the chorus of K-a-b-i-y-e-s-I ooo by the enthusiastic crowd, after which the three kings were officially crowned.
Speaking on behalf of the new Obas, the Olota of Ota, Oba AdemolaAdesuyi commended the Oluwo, whom he referred to as their father, for the honour done on them in the upgrading to the stats of beaded crown Obas.
He also thanked other traditional rulers in attendance including theOlojaAgberire, the Oloburo of Oburo and Ola of Agunlase just as he extended same to the Oluwo-In-council. He promised the Oluwo to abide by all his advice and make him proud as their paramount ruler.
“You are our father from time immemorial and there is nothing we can do without your consenting authority. We are going to do as you have advised us. We believe in you. We believe in the principle which places the welfare of the people before any other and we are also going to follow that track. You have set the standard and we have all seen it. It then means we have no choice than to maintain the standard,” he assured.