The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, has stressed that the government must engage the traditional institutions in the decision-making process in order to address the problems the nation is currently facing.
Oba Akanbi emphasized that the “politician-style” of administration cannot function in a nation like Nigeria while pointing out that the traditional institutions should be recognized by the constitution.
At the “Codes of Kings” book launch on Monday in Ikeja, Lagos State, he made this statement.
The monarch emphasised that the traditional rulers have a key role to play in the security and infrastructural development of towns and cities across the country.
He noted that the traditional institution can also play the role of checking the activities of politicians by ensuring their promises to the people are fulfilled.
He said, “We are the leaders of this nation; we are the closest to our people but we are being relegated. And I have a dream that if kings start doing better; I want to prepare kings for a future where we can grow our democracy, our own style of democracy is for kings and politicians to work together.
“So, the future of this country is the monarchical system of government. We can see that the military style of government will not work. We can see so much corruption in the land. So, where are we heading with this kind of democracy if there is nobody to check politicians on corruption and bad governance? We want to prepare kings for this role.
“Either they like it or not, politicians cannot do it alone. Every problem falls on the kings, including security issues. Government cannot handle the security, and infrastructural development without our input.”
Speaking on his new book, the monarch said, “Code of kings will serve as a guideline on how to prepare; because what we are saying now is that kings are relegated and we want respect for our monarchy and we want them to represent culture and traditions and not home-made religion of some people. Kings are representative of gods on earth. Kings should not bow to any other thing than the creator that owns them. Traditions and culture are how we greet and wear our clothes; it’s not about religion. So I am a custodian of religion and culture; religion starts from the palace. There is a lot in the code of kings.”
Dr. Mrs. Adeola Faleye, a senior lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ilé-Ifè and a fellow of the American Council of Learned Scholars, said of the book during a review that it contains the monarch’s position and disposition on a number of issues, including the progress Iwo land has made in terms of development.
Faleye said that some of the book’s chapters included chronological historical histories of Iwo’s old town’s institutionalization.
She further disclosed that the king also devoted several chapters to his tale of his birth, his time in Canada, and how he came to be the Oluwo. The book also discussed Yorubaland’s religion and monarchical institution.
She added, “This is a useful material for this generation, for the yet unborn, and for the larger researchers out there. Anyone who may be yearning for a critical book that provides information on Iwo, on Yoruba cultural values and new order, and needs a review of attitude to cultural and Kingship outlook, from a royal perspective, this book will readily serve such purposes.”