When Two Elephants Fight…As Oluwo of Iwo and High Chief Abiola Ogundokun Engage in Verbal Slugfest


Colourful and controversial, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi, has become (in)famous for his predilection to get into spats with whoever got in his way or attempted to. If he is not displaying his gaudy lifestyle on social media, including new material acquisitions, he is posting childlike videos like an excitable kid just experiencing a smart phone. The recent in his expanding catalogue of opponents is an old political warhorse and the Publicity Secretary of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, Chief Abiola Ogundokun.

In a fit of power-drunkenness, the Oluwo, last Sunday, stripped Ogundokun of all chieftaincy titles, ranging from Islamic, social to traditional titles conferred on him by the Iwo Traditional Council. The Iwo monarch accused Ogundokun of disrespecting him as well as making utterances and actions he described as anti-Iwo, saying, “A Chief is appointed to favour the town. Any Chief, either traditional or religious, who engages in a bad conduct should be dealt with accordingly. Ogundokun is one of them. I removed him after due consultation with Chiefs, religious leaders, stakeholders and opinion leaders in the interest of Iwo.” Continuing, he said, “Ogundokun went as far as going to a radio station to molest Iwo, the crown and her subjects. It is high time we shoved him off. He is a liability to our land. He has no respect for Iwo and needs to be treated like a traitor.”

However, the 82-year-old Ogundokun, forged in the political warfare of the 70s through the 80s to the Sani Abacha days, has described the Oluwo as incompetent to strip him of any title. “I have been maintaining and using my money to keep him. A few months ago, he told the whole world that Ogundokun is the best Iwo man. He said if he had two Ogundokuns in Iwo, he did not need anybody again.

He is doing this because I advised him against criminality, to stop collecting money from people he does not intend to confer chieftaincy titles on.” To underscore that the King might just be on an exuberant spree, religious leaders across the three local government areas that make up the ancient town, as well as the five royal families, in a meeting held at the Iwo Central mosque, faulted the decision of the monarch and unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the high chief. They maintained that Ogundokun has not done anything that contravenes neither Islamic doctrine, nor traditional norm, which necessitated the action of the king. He is yet to respond as at press time. But knowing the Oluwo, a ringing riposte is afoot.

Like a recurring theme in some demonic symphony, the drums of war are resonating yet again in Christendom. And it involves the usual suspects and eternal sparring partners, Prophet T.B Joshua, the General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, and dandy pop artiste turned preacher, Pastor Chris Okotie of the Household of God Church. Joshua had announced that he was relocating to Israel because of the hostile Nigerian environment, saying, “This is the most persecuted ministry in the world. Who are the people persecuting the ministry? My people, Africa. That is why I choose to live a lonely life. If you want to see me, come to this church. I don’t go out. It has not been easy because I don’t know who is a friend or who is an enemy.

If you learn T.B. Joshua is not around, I am in a revival. I live in the church here. I don’t have a house outside. What happened to me from the beginning of my ministry is enough to chase me out of this country. But I am still in your midst.” He also said Israel had given him land in a choice area to establish his church if he eventually comes to the country. Responding, Okotie, an avowed and age-long critic of Joshua, described him as an attention-seeking ‘impostor.’ In a post on his official Facebook profile, Okotie stated, “He is controlled by a malevolent misanthropic spirit. His hypocritical jeremiad should be ignored.

He is just another frustrated shaman seeking public sympathy.” This recent tirade follows a long line of others. A few years back, a national honour was conferred on Joshua by the Umaru Yar’Adua administration. Okotie was miffed, and he expressed this in no uncertain terms. “I think that President Yar’Adua does not have the competence to determine who to receive an award in the Body of Christ. (Joshua) is not a Christian. He does not understand the complexity of the spiritual organism that is called the Church and for him to veer out of state matters and delve into matters that have to do with celestial issues is the height of presumptions. Number two, to give an award to a man like Joshua, who is possessed with the malevolent spirit, who has shown himself as a Shaman is to endorse Shamanism and occultism.”