Tuesday, 1 November 2016

How Iwo town fell & rose again under Oba Adewale Akanbi-- Iyalaje of Iwo land + Reveals best kept secrets of new Oluwo of Iwo


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The Iyalaje of Iwo land, Chief (Mrs.) Funmilayo Jabaru with the GDA of Asabeafrika

In this exclusive encounter with Chief (Mrs.) Funmilayo Jabaru, the Iyalaje the historic Iwo town, during the wedding of Oluwafunmilayo Oyindamola, daughter of High Chief Abiola Ogundokun (The Otun Balogun of Iwo Kingdom) to Barrister Olayinka Afeez Olokun-Ola in Lagos on Thursday 20th, 2016, she revealed for the first time to your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika the history of the fall and rise of Iwo Kingdom years past and how His Imperial Majesty, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi (Ilufemiloye—TELU 1) the new Oluwo of Iwo land brought back prosperity and awareness to the town. Chief (Mrs.) Funmilayo Jabaru a former Director of Federal Housing Authority turned business woman equally told us the secret of Iwo as a powerful Yoruba kingdom and how Iwo lost her status until recently under the new TELU, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi. It is a very interesting encounter. Enjoy the excerpts.

Chief (Mrs.) Funmilayo Jabaru, the Iyalaje of Iwo Kingdom
 In the past, Iwo as a town was looked down upon as a backward place with no prospect for success. What is your perception to this, ma?
Well, my name is Chief (Mrs.) Funmilayo Jabaru, the Iyalaje of Iwo kingdom. Iwo is one of the towns that were founded right from the era of the Yoruba progenitor, Oduduwa. Telu, the son of the daughter of Oduduwa is the one that established Iwo land. She is the only daughter born by Oduduwa, she was the only daughter that became an Oba (King) in Ile-Ife. She is the only woman in history who became the Ooni of Ife; it was her son who established Iwo land. And let me quickly tell you, in the Old Western Region, Iwo was one of the topmost cities of those days. To the extent that when people mention Ibadan, Ogbomosho and Abeokuta, Iwo was the next in line, those were the good old days of old western region. And let me also let you know that Iwo is one the most peaceful cities in Yoruba land because we don’t always witness any crisis. It is one of the cradle cities of Yoruba history.
So, when did Iwo took a back seat in the affairs of the Yoruba kingdoms?

“He knew what he wanted right from time and he pursued it and he got it. Although, he takes no nonsense o, you don’t joke with him. It is a trait that grew with him from time immemorial. He had always been a no-nonsense person right from his younger age”.
The Oluwo of Iwo, HIM, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi (Ilufemiloye-TELU 1) with High Chief Abiola Ogundokun, the Otun Balogun of Iwo Kingdom
We have soon discovered the problem, you know leadership is a continuous process and when an established Oba (King) passes away and you don’t appoint a new Oba immediately, it diminishes the esteem of a town. It is some of the few things that tossed Iwo backward and in fact, it was God that really helped us that Professor Awe’s commission of enquiry came and solved some of the major problems before the enthronement of our new King, His Imperial Majesty Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi (Telu 1).
Who is Professor Awe?
He is a professor at the University Of Ibadan and he still there, it was his commission that came and settled the problem of the Iwo chieftaincy tussle, he came and divided the ruling houses into four. So, we now have four ruling houses in Iwo land, which is Adagunodo, Gbaase, Alausa and Ande and they have now added Tadese making it five ruling houses.
The Oluwo of Iwo Land with his Otunbalogun, High Chief Ogundokun (R) with the Onifon of Ifon land at Chief Ogundokun's daughter's wedding in Lagos
I think it was the first civilian Governor, Isiaka Adeleke (Serubawon) who brought about the Awe Commission, but why did it take so long a time for Iwo to get a king after the demise of her former king?
I have said it just now; they have not divided the ruling house at the time. One single royal home was ruling the throne for four hundred years.  The irony is that they are of the same father. All the Princes, it is just one person who is their single progenitor. But in the very olden days of yore, if a king passes away, the eldest of his son will succeed him; they never fight or engage in any rancor. But the first Lamuye (Oluwo) that reigned grew so old and spent almost a hundred years, and when he passed away, it was another of his siblings, from same Lamuye (ruling linage) that succeeded him.  They kept ruling, ruling until the rest (other ruling houses) reacted. It is like you having six children and it is just the family of the first born that keeps ruling the throne and the remaining five now reacted against that first son. Of course, they know he is the senior but enlightenment has caught up with the royal home at the time. So, they said ‘please, share the reign. If we are of same father, of course we are not of same mother’ and that was what led to the raising of commission of enquiry which Professor Awe headed and it was (Professor) Awe who divided the ruling house into four ruling houses and that is what led to the choosing of a Gbaase son now, otherwise, it could have been the same old route. Oba Samuel Omotosho Abimbola, he is also a Lamuye and he died in 1982 and for many years we didn’t have a king until the intervention of Governor Isiaka Adeleke through Professor Awe’s commission. We thank God for the return of Iwo to glory. 
The Oluwo of Iwo land, HIM, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi with former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Sen. Kofoworola Bucknor Akerele (M) and a guest
There was this perception about Iwo that anytime enlightenment is about to come into Iwo, the Muslim indigenes who are in the majority always go against it. For instance during the reign of late Chief Bola Ige as the Governor of Oyo state, he was to bring Television station to Iwo but we learnt the Muslims kicked against it. How true is this?
I don’t think it is true; in fact, they are the ones who want it most. You see, it is all about inconsistent policies on the part of government. We suffered from great level of inconsistency. A reigning government does a project halfway and another government comes and instead of making a continuity of the project, he stops and starts another thing entirely. You know if Bola Ige did a second term in office, he would have succeeded with that television project but the change in government disrupted the continuation of that process. 
The Iyalaje, Chief (Mrs.) Jabaru with Oluwo of Iwo and other Chiefs celebrates with High Chief Abiola Ogundokun
In fact, we equally learnt that even the National College of Education that was in Iwo at the time was equally relocated from Iwo to Ilesa, so do you think Government was only trying to stigmatize Iwo or it was just because of the Muslim factor?
Well, that is what I am talking about? Who can query the military government that ruled for a long time? It was the military era and nobody could query a military administrator. People protested, they wrote petitions but nothing happened but right now God has helped us replace it with a university. Of course we have BOWEN University and we even expect more. In fact Iwo indigenes are even trying to invest in education right now, so, we expect a rapid growth in years to come. That is it.
Can you tell us the names of the Iwo ruling house in ascending order?
The Oluwo of Iwo Land, HIM, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi (Ilufemiloye-TELU 1) with the GDA of Asabeafrika
We have Adagunodo as number 1, we have Gbaase the one that produced the reigning king at the moment (HIM, Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi Telu 1); Alausa follows. They are the next to produce a king, I pray this reigning king lives long for us; he will grow very, very old before joining his ancestors (Amin). We also have Ande, after Ande it will go to Tadese before it will finally go back to Adagunodo ruling house. So, since the enthronement of Oba Abdulrasheed, we have seen rapid development. People loves him and he also loves people, let me tell you, all the reformation Oba Akanbi is carrying out right now in Iwo, he has always had the ambition since he was a kid. It is not because he became king o, he was restless at the time, restless for the development of Iwo land. He will say ‘ah, Mummy, this Iwo, let us bring factory in there, let us bring industry in there, I am now abroad, I can facilitate the building of industries in Iwo land, we can develop this Iwo land etc’, and to God be the glory, God now gave him the knowledge, maybe because of his good heart and his love for Iwo land, maybe that is what God considered to now bestow upon him the royal title of Oluwo of Iwo land. God decided to bring his dreams to reality and since he came on the throne, he has never rested for a day, it is like Iwo should develop fast, fast, fast; Iwo should become a modern city. That is all what he has been doing all this while. I pray God will grant Kabiyesi his wishes. He is very energetic and enlightened. We are lucky to have him at this time.
The Ilufemiloye-TELU 1, His Imperial Majesty Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi; He dreamed to be a King and he became one
How will you describe his growing years as a kid? Was he a cool boy or a troublesome fellow?
(Laughs heartily) He was a good boy, a good growing man. He knew what he wanted right from time and he pursued it and he got it. Although, he takes no nonsense o, you don’t joke with him. It is a trait that grew with him from time immemorial. He had always been a no-nonsense person right from his younger age. So, don’t be surprised that he is the way he is now, you cannot rubbish him. You can’t rubbish him. He is not one person you can push aside, if you try it, you are doing it at your own peril.
He equally appears to me like someone who red history?
The Ilufemiloye-TELU 1, HIM, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi with his staff of office
You know any child that is naturally intelligent, if he is given the privilege to read anything, he will read and lead right. He has interest in culture, tourism and development generally. He has deep passion for culture, tourism and development. He is one man with great foresight. That is the essence of his good education and self enlightenment.
Since he became king, what has changed in Iwo land?
The Iyalaje of Iwo land, Chief (Mrs.) Funmilayo Jabaru in a tete-a-tete with other Obas at Chief Ogundokun's daughter's wedding in Lagos
Ha, Iwo ti Change o (Iwo has change). In fact, before he became king, he specifically spent his money to grade the road from Odo-Ore up to Oshogbo junction; he blocked all the pot holes and made a smooth road. That is ever before he knew he was going to become king o, he invited all his wealthy friends home, raised a fund and re-built the road. Then, one of his friends brought soap factory down to Iwo. We went to do the foundation recently. It is a very big factory that has given jobs to several Iwo indigenes. At a time he went to Canada embassy to meet some Canadian industrialists, he did meeting with them and he is not up to a year on the throne. Now, he has started what can be called Iwo-Oshogbo road, a road the government has abandoned for years. At least, if he can do that road alone because it is the shortest road between Iwo and Oshogbo, I hope you know how bad that road is.
(Cuts in) Yes, I have travelled through that road before with High Chief Abiola Ogundokun, that road is terrible indeed
The Ilufemiloye-TELU 1, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi with his Otunbalogun, High Chief Abiola Ogundokun & a top royal father with Mrs. Bola Ogundokun
I am happy you know the road, right now, they are scrapping it. If they can even scrap it, vehicles can be moving freely without hiccups, even if they have not put bitumen or finalize it. Right now, they are grading the road and doing the gutters. So, if there are infrastructural developments, movement of products from one part of town to the other will be easy. And that will generate commerce and industry for Iwo as an Agro-Economy town with prospect for social developments; everybody is now returning back to the farm so that farm produce can move freely from one part of town to the other. If that place is done, if the road is fine tuned, traffic will move easily and it will reduce the cost of transportation because it is a straight road. So, these are the great benefits we are getting from Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi (Ilufemiloye
TELU 1)
The Iyalaje of Iwo Kingdom, Chief (Mrs.) Funmilayo Jabaru















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