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If the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, is to be believed, his domain in Osun State should attract people battling with COVID-19. During an event to mark his 5th coronation anniversary, the 53-year-old traditional ruler not only boasted that no one in the town had contracted the coronavirus since it was first detected in the country in February 2020  but also bragged that anybody with COVID-19  would be completely healed once the person set foot on Iwo soil.

Just like that?  Yes, it’s that simple, according to Oba Akanbi. He didn’t explain how such a cure would happen.  Perhaps he didn’t need to give any explanation.  All he said was: “My subjects are living happily and healthy. We did not have any issue of coronavirus. Anybody with COVID-19 that enters Iwo will be automatically healed.”

Secretary to the Osun State Government Prince Wole Oyebamiji in a statement this week ordered civil servants below level 12 to stay at home indefinitely from January 25 to check the spread of COVID-19.

The government said:  “There will be a dusk to dawn curfew every day from 10:00 pm till 5:00 am. Enforcement teams have been set up in every Local Government and Area Office across the State, to ensure strict enforcement of the protocols.

“Any hotel, event centre, mall, joint or business that is found flouting the safety directives will be sealed, and will only be reopened upon the payment of a fine of N250,000.”

Teachers, health workers and other workers on essential services are allowed to go to work, and schools are expected to “maintain all safety protocols.”


“On religious gathering,” the government said “vigils and crusades are banned and no service must exceed two hours,” warning that “Churches and mosques found flouting the safety directives will be sealed, and will only be reopened upon the payment of a fine of N50, 000.”

It is noteworthy that Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation Funke Egbemode this week announced that two cabinet members in the administration of Osun State Governor Gboyega Oyetola had tested positive for COVID-19.


According to figures released yesterday evening, the state has recorded 1,318 lab confirmed cases of COVID-19; 258 people are on admission; 1,033 have been discharged; and there have been 27 deaths.

The state government’s latest anti-COVID-19 measures seem reasonable in the circumstances.  But would it be reasonable to move those being treated for COVID-19 in the state to Iwo to be “automatically healed,” as guaranteed by Oba Akanbi?  There is only one word to describe the traditional ruler and his utterance: flippant.


Hardball, The Nation

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