THE Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdul Rasheed Akanbi, has declared Nigerian Tribune titles as unbiased and an enduring legacy of Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Oba Akanbi, who was on a courtesy visit to the Tribune headquarters, Ibadan, on Tuesday, expressed his delight in identifying with the paper.
The monarch said he grew up to appreciate Tribune as a strong political newspaper which consistently sets agenda for the nation.
He, therefore, declared that he will continue to identify with the paper because of its history and effort at liberating the masses from ignorance.
“I am happy with the reception the management gave me. It speaks volume of the strong team you have. And I want you to see your paper also as our collective project. It is my project because Yoruba affair is my project,” he stated.
Part of his effort to reposition in contemporary world, he said, was his Telu Jeans, a trendy wear he recently conceptualised and designed.
The monarch, in company of his wife, told his hosts how he wanted to use Yoruba age-old fabrics to design suits and through it sell the race to the world.
Oba Akanbi clarified that his concept of Empire is not an attempt to use arms to capture the world, stating that the world was ruled by ideas, hence his strong determination to sell Yoruba rich items to the world.
“Top rated artistes like Olamide will be part of it because of his appeal to the youths who are the target of the innovation. It is late to insist that the youth go back to Agbada in our old fabric. We are invading the invaders by making sure the white too wear our jeans made with our fabrics,” he said.
The Oluwo also acknowledged the supremacy of God over all kings and urged his fellow traditional rulers not to denigrate their position before lesser gods and others not ordained by God.
Welcoming the monarch, the Managing Director and Editor-In-Chief of Tribune titles, Edward Dickson, described the Oluwo’s visit as God’s design, a reference to Oba Akanbi’s birthday which coincided with his visit.
Dickson said the management was more excited because of historical significance of the visit being the first monarch to have visited the Tribune House in recent time.
He said the management appreciated his coming and promised to use the medium to partner with him in his drive, especially on his Telu Jeans.
Dickson who drew a similarity between the monarch’s philosophy and that of Chief Awolowo in the area of promotion of education said, “we are happy that you visited all schools in your domain when you became an Oba.
The managing director stressed that Chief Awolowo did not believe in sourcing for solution to his peoples’ challenges from outside.
According to him, Awolowo, rather preferred home grown solution to problem, hence, his insistence in mass literacy to liberate the people from the shackles of ignorance and poverty, adding that Awolowo lived for and died for the masses and bequeathed a legacy that has outlived him.
“We are the only newspaper that predates Nigeria’s independence and we are going to partner with you in encouraging the youths in your domain to embrace education. And God will help you to achieve your goals.
“Although some people will not believe because they don’t believe in doing things the unusual way, your consistency will vindicate you,” he remarked.
Dickson used the occasion to challenge Yoruba traditional rulers on the need to reflect on the state of the geo-political zone with a view to restoring its lost glory in education as well as commerce.
He, however, expressed optimism in the philosophy of the likes of Oluwo and the Ooni who, according to him, were coming up with innovative ideas aimed at empowering Yoruba youths.
“We are comfortable to key into your lofty ideas. If you can reclaim the Telu title, reclaiming Yoruba lost glory is also a task we must jointly do”, he said.
The visit witnessed the cutting of the Oluwo’s birthday cake presented by the management. Also the Managing director presented the first edition of the Tribune published on November 16, 1949 to the monarch.
In the entourage of Oba Akanbi were Iwo High Chiefs led by the Eketa of Iwoland, Chief Oluremi Atanda; Balogun, Rauf Muraina; Onto, Fatai Oloye and Molasin, Prince Adebola Asafa.