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Oluwo Of Iwo: The Uncommon Personality By Rotimi Makinde

I have been so privileged to meet with Kabiesi Oluwo on a  number of occasions. I've also had the mettle to engage this flamboyant Kabiesi on a series of topics.

I  was probably one of the first he called on each of his encounters as a son, an ambassador of culture and probably as a friend. Given this privilege of association over time, I have grown to understand his genuine desire to promote yoruba culture and unity.

His Royal Majesty, probably the most misunderstood personalities on a number of issues. In as much as I also recognise that he is like every other human being given to personal reservations and shortcomings, I can  honestly tell anyone who cares for free  that he is not in the make of any character that would rise to challenge the supremacy of our dear Ooni.

Neither would the Oluwo that I know purpose  to disrespect the highly revered stool of Oduduwa.  Rather, his case should be seen as a crusader who wish to create a niche for himself, he craves his own identity and passion with serious intention to promote his own empire,a ruler who desires a measure of the glitz of the fame being enjoyed by his contemporaries.

In this case relating to Ooni of Ife, the recent outcry that greeted Oluwo's controversial statement stirred my curiosity  to put an urgent call to this rare breed of monarch.

 I felt I owe him that much considering he is my personal person' (in Naija's street lingo) as well as  someone that needs our collective support in his drive to project yoruba kingdom, as being championed by the most superior Oonirisa himself.

Oluwo's outbursts might have been his own way to voice his grievances over some experience he had with the Ooni and the Iku Baba Yeye, the Alaafin of Oyo. He simply wasn't comfortable with the manner we all ignored the grievances. Neither was he comfortable with the governors and the politicians in general mediating.

He would rather the committee of Obas be the avant-garde of our re- unification drive, as well as other regional problems. He believes such is the only way to go, if they truly want the needed peace in Yorubaland. And with due respect to all interests, I make bold to say I see commonsense in his frank and candid expression of his opinion. I am also enamoured by his tactical way of calling us to embrace and champion peace, more like the Emirs who according to him love each other without bickering, malice or bias.

Harmless as his opinion seems, the spontaneous public odium that trailed his statement is, to say the least, unfortunate. And I'm sure the experience will remain a great lesson for him to be cautious in his future utterances on such sensitive matters. Now the Oluwo knows he is a golden fish in the ocean of great men of honour.

 But i also know that in the world and country which we live in, freedom of expression is everyone's right. So I will refrain from censuring those who have chosen to criticize and lambaste the Oluwo. All I chose to say, with the benefit of my own right to freedom of expression, is  I wish them well!

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