Today Saturday, October 7, Iwoland in Osun State, will bubble with excitement. This is because the ancient town would be playing host to hundreds of dignataries across the country expected in the town to celebrate with the monarch, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, Telu 1, marking his 50th birthday and second anniversary of his coronation as the Oluwo.
While many controversies have trailed the flamboyant monarch since his ascension as the paramount ruler of Iwoland in the last 24 months, it can’t be denied that the Oba has actually helped shift attention to the town, which hitherto had enjoyed less publicity. Thus, the debonair Oluwo, who actually joined the golden club in June, will be using the twin event to showcase the town to the world and kick start its real development. “As a responsible father, I am thirsty of development. There are two Iwos: the old Iwo and the new Iwo. The new Iwo is the best because we have migrated from obscurity to light. The name is everywhere now and big investments are underway,” said the Oluwo, fondly called Emperor Telu. And to make this dream come true, the amiable monarch has invited scores of political and corporate luminaries as his guests today. Among those expected at the twin event, which will also witness the launching of a publication, “Iwo Odidere” at the exquisite King’s Riverside Holiday Resort, beside Odo Oba bridge in Iwo, are former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Osun State Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; the Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan; Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, Osile Oke Ona Egba; Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, Etsu Nupe; Hajia Abbah Folawiyo, billionaires Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Dr. Mike Adenuga, Femi Otedola, Chief Mrs. Folasade Tinubu-Ojo, Iyaloja General of Nigeria; and some other high-ranking monarchs across the country.
Oba Akanbi, from the Molaasan Compound of the Gbaase Ruling House in Isale Oba in Iwo, was born on June 21, 1967. He spent most of his early adult life in Germany and later Canada from where he came home to become the Oluwo. The monarch, who once lived and seems to still live on the fast lane, is married to a Jamaican-Canadian beauty, Olori Channel Chin.