Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi, oluwo of Iwo land, has called on traditional rulers in the south-west to renounce their “membership of secret societies”.
In a statement by Ibraheem Alli, his press secretary, the monarch asked the traditional rulers to live up to defend their status as “divinely appointed rulers”
He said they ought not to enslave themselves in secret societies, charging them to fight against those societies and not to empower them through their membership.
“Our foremost Yoruba traditional rulers must defend the status of their long reign. As kings, we have exclusive authority over our subjects,” he said.
“No office or status should be more powerful, influential and command more respect than our position as monarchs because we enjoy divine appointment.
“Many of the criminal activities in the country today are linkable to secret societies. So, no labour is lost fighting against existence and membership of the cults springing up at alarming rates in the country.
“I am giving an assurance of my support for the emancipation of enslaved monarchs, who have already submitted their authorities to these inferior secret bodies in expectation of false spiritual and monetary gains.
“Which assemblage could be as strong and virile like one comprising the Alaafin, Ooni, Awujale, Owa Obokun, Alake, Akarigbo, Olugbo, Oluwo, Oba of Lagos, Olofa, Deji Akure, Olubadan, Osile, Oniru, Elegushi, and Orangun among others? What influence, authority, power, contact, and luxuries are you still searching outside this assemblage?
“God has divinely made us install other leaders, but because we run blindly, secret societies have hijacked our roles, subject some Obas to their whims and caprices. And this is worrisome.”
The monarch also called for the establishment of a central council of Yoruba traditional rulers, which will consist of only non-members of secret societies.
“The body (Ijo Oba) will be a supreme council for discussing Yoruba affairs and will be an apex decision organ in the land,” he said.
“It will comprise only Obas and must mandate those willing to join to renounce membership of their secret societies. I trust the capacity of the Alaafin, the Awujale and the Oba of Lagos to live up to expectation and lead the revolutionary liberation from the subjects turning themselves to our lords.”