How Oluwo educates us
The name of the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba (Dr) Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, Telu I, means many things to many people just like every other public figure. But regardless of opinions, which can be either right or wrong, it is incontrovertible that this charismatic golden monarch educates us in a way that resets out thinking.
As John Dewey noted that education is not preparation for life; education is life itself, highlighting some of the areas in which the monarch that charts his own course deepens our education is right on target.
1- Superiority to deities.
The Oluwo said recently that contrary to the perception that monarchs are authorities second to gods, he is actually superior to gods and only comes next after the Almighty God, the Supreme Being. This profound statement actually digs a dagger into the heart of fetishism, voodoism and all manner of traditional practices that stunt development.
With historical evidence to boot that the ancestor of the Yoruba race, Oduduwa, did not worship any deity, the message to the traditional institutions especially in the Southern states is that human sacrifice, magic and occultic rituals are wrong.
2- God makes kings.
The Oluwo believes that it is only the Almighty God that makes people kings. His evidence is that attending theological schools can make one an Imam or Pastor but only the Almighty God can determine who would become a king.
In that sense, all those who are desperate to attain positions should know that only God crowns efforts and regardless of the extent people go in order to achieve their aims, it is important they know that only God grants success. So, while ambition is in order, desperation that defines the Nigerian sociopolitical environment is pernicious.
3- Witchcraft is poverty of the mind.
There is a vast industry created by mind manipulators on the prevalence of witches and wizards who determine our fate. However, those who hold this belief are victims of economic exploiters who take advantage of people’s naivety and ignorance to manipulate them. The Oluwo’s philosophy is that if rich women are not branded witches, it becomes clear that the branding of poor people as witches smacks of illiteracy, wickedness and backwardness.
4- Monarchy is service and sacrifice.
Everyone used to think that traditional leadership was just about giving the rulers only to receive royal blessings. But the Oluwo has educated all that being an Oba is about rendering service to people such as patching Iwo-Osogbo Road, Iwo-Ibadan Road and fixing potholes within his domain.
Reports indicate that apart from providing logistics, the Oluwo himself participated in these activities. Therefore, being a monarch is also about sacrificing money and time in feeding the orphans and the hungry and assisting the security agents with surveillance vehicles in the community as he does.
READ ALSO: Popular Markets in Iwo and The People
5- Spirituality is not religiosity.
Nigerians are very religious with the British Broadcasting Service (BBC) reporting some years back that Nigerians are the most religious people on earth. Despite this, there is no spiritual connection in what many Nigerians do as the armed robbers, prostitutes, the corrupt elements that endanger the lives of people and all manners of criminals claim one religion or the other.
The essential thing, however, is to be spiritual and have a sense of connection with God. It is this spirituality that makes mountains fall, gives one abundant courage and makes one do extraordinary things. The monarch has been doing extraordinary things.
6) Know your onions.
Knowledge makes a man and each person is as good as he knows. This is because without knowledge, ignorance and darkness prevail. The Oluwo is profoundly knowledgeable about his history and heritage which allow him to provide historical evidence to support his actions. When he caused a national stir two years ago by leading the Eid prayer, he justified it saying that an Oluwo had led prayers before, which was true.
When he crowned his queen and people thought it was an assault on Yoruba culture, he provided evidence to support how Oduduwa’s wife also wore a crown and scholars backed him up with data. A man of knowledge rules his world, a man of ignorance is constrained and limited.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Professor Mahfouz A. Adedimeji, the pioneer Vice Chancellor of Ahman Pategi University, Patigi, Nigeria. He is a Fulbright scholar, interdisciplinary researcher, university don, public affairs analyst, communication consultant, peace advocate, interfaith worker and public intellectual.