A Yoruba King, Oluwo of Iwoland in Osun state, Oba Adbulrasheed Akanbi has dumped his traditional title of Oba and has adopted tittle of the sokoto caliphate, Emir.
He gave his reasons saying:
“I have decided to officially adopt Emir title today because I want to emulate the attitudes of Northern Emirs.”
“They don’t begrudge themselves like Yoruba Obas. It will surprise you to discover that for the past two years, there has not been meeting of Yoruba traditional rulers just because of enmities. There is nothing strange in adopting Emir title.”
“I am the Emir of Yorubaland,” the Oluwo said.
This will he the second Yoruba Emir stool subservient to the Sokoto Caliphate after the Usman Dan Fodio jihad that succeeded in toppling the Afonja dynasty of Ilorin and forcfuly enthroned an Emir that rules up to this day.
It is an unprecedented twist of history for an Oba to abandon his traditional title and adopt the title of a conqueror Fulani title.
Their first success incursion into Yoruba land by the Fulani’s started in 1817 when the Baale of Ilorin, Afonja, Aare-Ona-Kakanfo invited Fulani warrior al Salih and his son Abd Salamti to help him rebel aginst the Alafin of old Oyo Empire. The Fulani’s took advantage of this internal crisisvti gain the trust of Afonja.
In 1823, the Fulani’s led by Abd Salamti killed Afonja and began a systematic conquest of Yoruba land. They invaded Western Yorubaland, particularly Sabe, Ketu andnorthern Egbado in early 19th century but achieved little success because of the resilience of the Yoruba people. Their inquisitions grinded to a halt at the coming of the European colonialists but they had vowed to dump the Koran into the Atlantic Ocean and enthrone caliphates throughout Yoruba land and other parts of the middle belt and southern Nigeria.
Could this declaration by the Oluwo of Iwoland be a sign that the Sokoto jihad is still ongoing ? Are the reasons given by the king for adopting the alien title ‘Emir’ real or concocted? What underlining historical symbolisms can be draw from this action?
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